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Album Review

Blink-182 – California

Blink-182 - California

No future? As if.

Label: BMG
Released: 1st July 2016

Rating: ★★★★

Worried about Blink-182 in 2016? Don’t be. They’re back. Like, properly, excitedly and whole-heartedly back. And they’re making no apologies for it.

Self-aware but never stumbling too far down that rabbit hole, ‘California’ is smarter than blink have ever been given credit for but is also a whole heap of fun. From the tongue-firmly-in-cheek skits to that opening flourish from Travis Barker on ‘Cynical’, ‘California’ is grin-inducingly great. And not just for Blink in 2016, but for 2016 in general.

With persistent questions about identity and belonging, ‘California’ takes the spirit of reckless pop-punk abandon into adulthood without making it boring. The haunting ‘Home Is Such A Lonely Place’ wears its heart on its sleeve, ‘No Future’, all rough gang-vocals and scrappy battle cries, is a knee-jerk reaction to years of unease and uncertainty while ‘Teenage Satellites’ looks inwards, trying to find a reason.

The past thirteen years of Blink-182’s recorded output has been dominated by an ever-present space. ‘California’ couldn’t be more in your face. With the band jostling for the spotlight, trading musical blows and forcefully pushing each other on, it’s an intense, joyous listen. This isn’t just a return to form though, it’s Blink-182 taking the next step. More than a hopeful post-prom pledge, the band have expanded on every one of their playful glances.

‘Los Angeles’ is bigger than Blink have ever dared to dream while the gloom-laden title track finds a temporary peace. The sixteen tracks of ‘California’ are a reaction to what came before. It’s a constant and progressive conversation with no definitive answers, only comfort in their sound.

‘California’ is an album of late nights, escape by any means and the sobering fear of tomorrow but as ‘Left Alone’ wrestles with itself, its cry of “here’s to the sunrise” rings true. Blink-182 have made it this far so bring it all on. No future? As if. Ali Shutler