Best of 2016 Playlist

July 20, 2016

Featured Band - blink-182

Seemed stupid not to have these guys for July's Featured Band. They've OWNED this month for 20+ years. blink-182 just released their 7th studio album, their first since the departure of Tom Delonge and the entrance of Matt Skiba. 

To buy "California" on iTunes click the following (link). And if you're a self respecting pop punk fan, you won't want to miss out on blink-182, A Day to Remember and All Time Low on tour together this summer. 

blink-182 are the undisputed kings of pop punk. Though many other bands before them helped shape the genre, it was blink-182 that sensationalized it, and turned it into what it is today. Think about it, what would pop punk be without "Dude Ranch" or "Enema of the State"? We wouldn't have All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and so many other artists. 

Despite the loyal following, the band have never been well received by the masses. Most think the band is a joke, writing songs about partying, wanking off, and creating music videos where they do nothing but run around L.A completely naked. Mark in particular has a reputation for being a man-child, while Tom is known for being a raving nutcase. Spouting stuff about aliens, probes, and his "multi-media projects". In hindsight, it's probably a good thing he exited the band. 

That's not to say the band are better off without him. Because the fact of the matter is Tom can never be replaced, not even by Matt Skiba. But the direction he was headed in (possibly Area 51), was NOT for the band. Ironically enough the most recent Angels & Airwaves EP sounds like material that might have been first run through blink-182 when they wrote their 2011 album "Neighborhoods". 

The Delonge controversy aside, the band are tighter than ever following their bittersweet split. Skiba's entrance couldn't have been more perfect. He brought some fresh ideas to the band, and in all honesty his voice is far superior to Tom's. Skiba's work with Alkaline Trio, Sekrets, and his myriad of other side projects serves him well. He has a more diverse pallet when it comes to pop punk.

The difference between blink and Alkaline (aside from the album sales and general popularity) is that Alkaline Trio's sound has progressed with the band. They started out doing indie meets punk meets alt. rock meets pop music. Think that description makes no sense? Just listen to their early albums. Much like blink-182, Alkaline Trio found success in the late 90s and early 00s. They helped usher in the "emo" era in the mid 00s, to some success. While blink went through their "indefinite hiatus" Alkaline Trio were still going strong.

blink-182 have never been perfect, nor will they be winning any Grammys anytime soon. But for all those millennials who are currently lounging on a couch listening to your old blink-182 cassettes, we get it. This band is like weed, as most pop punk is. It's not really good for you, and it doesn't do anything for your brain, but it's fun and a great way to pass the time. (We aren't condoning drug use!!!)

Recommended tracks for first time listeners include: "Going Away to College", "Don't Leave Me", "Dammit", "Pathetic", "Carousel", "Peggy Sue", "What's My Age Again", "Rock Show", "First Date", "Everytime I Look for You", "Feeling This", "Down", "Wishing Well", "Kaleidoscope", and "Dogs Eating Dogs".