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First Take: Blink-182 – ‘Bored To Death’

It had to happen eventually. Blink-182 have grown up and they’re not sure how they feel about it. Teasing the release of ‘Bored To Death’ with an arrow-less smiley face logo and a driver staring dead ahead, this new version of blink-182 are looking for a fresh start. Unfortunately, their past looms large.

And so ‘Bored To Death’, the first track to be taken from the band’s upcoming seventh album and the first with Matt Skiba replacing Tom DeLonge, lies somewhere in the middle of clean slates and stained pages. And that’s just fine. Not only does it sound like a Blink-182 song, it sounds like a great Blink-182 song. There’s an excitement that can’t be contained, there’s an energetic chemistry that won’t quit and there’s darkness to the light (or a light to the darkness).

Blink have always been at their best when they toy with that duality and ‘Bored To Death’ is constantly at play. While the instrumentals bounce off once another and Matt’s vocals provide a heavy dose of harmony, Mark sings of youthful dreams and harsh realities (“it’s a long way back from seventeen”) underlined by a fear of repetition and dead ends. (“we’ll go over and over and over…). ‘Bored To Death’ wants to escape but it’s a constant struggle. (“save your breath, I’m nearly bored to death and fading fast… back on earth, I’m broken”) The trick is to never give up and never backtrack.

And that’s where we find blink-182 in 2016. Soldiering on. World weary but still staring longing at the horizon, the band are rekindling those youthful goals but making the most of everything they’ve learnt. ‘Bored To Death’ is a dreamers’ anthem for the hopeless and the anxious but maintains that our dream of a great Blink record is one step closer to home. California awaits.