Blink-182 is back and better than ever with their newest single “Bored to Death.”
Their first single off of their new album “California,” as well as the first single since the 2015 departure of founding member Tom DeLonge, “Bored to Death” is an electrifying song that takes Blink-182’s sound to bigger heights. At the same time, the sound feels familiar, though amplified.
The fast tempo of the song combined with angsty lyrics and powerful chorus are a classic Blink-182 formula, and it works to perfection. New vocalist and guitarist Matt Skiba (known for his work with Alkaline Trio) provides the kick in the pants the group needs to continue making great pop-punk music.
The lyrics of the song are similar to that of many pop-punk songs. The pained, awkward social conversations, the absolute terror of approaching the woman one’s crushing on, as well as the pure angst of adolescence is present throughout. It takes the listener back to his teenage years, even though it is “a long way back from 17,” as the song sings.
This is the first Blink-182 song since the band reunited in 2009 that actually feels like Blink-182. 2011’s “Neighborhoods,” as well as 2012’s “Dogs Eating Dogs” felt unpolished and uninspired.
Sometimes a change is necessary, and Skiba is the perfect choice for a “change.” For the first time in over a decade, it feels like everybody in the band is all-in. No longer is Blink-182 trying to be something they’re not with the wannabe-U2 sound they had earlier in the decade. It’s back to the basics, only bigger now. Blink-182 was always a more lighthearted, fun band, and the sound of the new single reflects that.
New producer John Feldmann helped create a sound that feels more filling than past Blink songs, and it signifies the band’s growth, as they play almost exclusively large arenas now. The sound has to be huge in order fill the arena.
Feldmann is able to create a larger sound while maintaining the essence of what makes Blink-182 great, and that is why this new single is so encouraging to Blink-182 fans both young and old. Feldmann, as well as the band members, didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. They did what they do best: make catchy, relatable radio-friendly music that will be stuck in the listener’s head for months to come.
If there is one criticism to be made with the new single, it’s that Mark Hoppus and Skiba sound a little bit too similar. It may take a few listens to figure out who is singing which part, but it does not make the song bad, just a bit confusing for the first listen.
Along with the new single and album, Blink-182 also announced a nationwide tour with a June 16 stop at the BankPlus Amphitheater in Southaven, with pop-punk staples The All-American Rejects and A Day to Remember accompanying them. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday and VIP packages are already on sale.
“California” releases July 1 and is available for pre-order now.