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Blink-182 Returns with Mixed Results

‘California’ Covers Narrow Terrain


Much has happened to pop punk since its late-1990s/early-aughts heyday: Green Day went Broadway, The Offspring probably went and had some… Blink-182 and Sum 41 imploded amid personal issues. In Blink’s case, the trio lost coconspirator Tom DeLonge, who just wasn’t feeling it. So Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker now rage with newcomer Matt Skiba to mixed results. Despite its expansive title, California covers narrow terrain. Like past Blink efforts, the record balances serious sentiments with immature interludes (i.e., jokey, fleeting “Built This Pool”). “Bored to Death” launches with sonic chemtrails and fierce Barker percussion before reaching its Blink-typical, cascading chorus (“Life is too short to last long”). Infectious “Rabbit Hole” and crunchy “San Diego” kill, while “No Future,” not as Sex Pistols as its title suggests, arrives leavened by “na-na-nas” and skeletal breakdowns that Sum 41’s harmonics could’ve executed better.

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