After months of anticipation, Blink-182‘s new album California hits stores today.
The LP may be without one-third of the band’s core lineup, as guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge is sitting this one out, the music is (mostly) as familiar as ever for fans of the longtime Southern California punk/pop/rock band.
Drummer Travis Barker and bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus teamed up with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio for this new-look version of the band, and the music they created with the aid of producer John Feldmann isn’t too far from what people have come to expect from a Blink record.
Due to DeLonge’s absence, though, there’s a decidedly different feel to California – in a good way. Songs like She’s Out of Her Mind, Kings of the Weekend, Rabbit Hole and The Only Thing That Matters are ‘vintage Blink-182’, but the musicians branch out a bit on tracks including Los Angeles and standouts Home is Such a Lonely Place, Left Alone, San Diego and Teenage Satellites. As for the album’s shortcomings, the lead guitar work isn’t as dynamic or instantly catchy as with past records – but listening to California it’s clear the three wanted to put together a high-energy, straightforward collection of songs that stand on their own, and in that regard they succeeded.
Calling upon Skiba to fill in for DeLonge was an intriguing move for Hoppus and Barker to make but it’s definitely paid off. California is a fine addition to the band’s catalog, and as the first release in five years it should definitely satisfy fans – those that don’t arbitrarily dismiss the album due to DeLonge’s noted absence, that is.
Blink appeared on Good Morning America on Friday to promote the record’s release, here’s a rendition of the lead single, Bored to Death:
And here’s the early 2000s hit The Rock Show:
As well as one of their breakout smash hits, All the Small Things:
Stream California below, via Spotify – and view Blink-182’s extensive touring schedule below that.