"It sounds like Blink, but it's not anything that we've heard before. For fans of the band, they're going to be super happy with it." - Lisa Corden (KROQ Radio)
Released in July 2016 (nearly the 182nd day of the year), Blink-182's seventh studio album 'California' is the first with new member Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio. There has been much speculation on what the album will sound like, and if the fans will be treated to the Blink sound they know and love. So what can you expect from this long-awaited new album from our heroes of pop-punk? Well with Matt and Mark sharing vocals, and Travis killing it on drums as always, 'California' sees Blink-182 returning to glory with an energy-filled offering.
Recorded throughout January and March 2016, 'California' is due to be supported by a US tour to celebrate the release. We can only hope they'll head to the UK and the rest of Europe on the strength of it. From the get go, 'California' was always going to be a thrilling prospect for Blink fans, producer John Feldman felt it would be a challenge to keep the Blink sound alive whilst stepping into new, uncharted waters.
"I'm just so excited to have people hear it. I'd say it's one of the best records I've ever made in my life" – John Feldman (‘California' producer)
From the opening bars of 'Cynical' the album screams 'play me loud and proud'. Is it the Blink-182 of 17 years ago? Maybe not, but music isn't just about sticking to what works, it's about taking that blueprint and running with it, and keeping current in an ever-evolving scene. And that's something Blink has done with 'California'.
There's elements of old Blink, a little +44, even a touch of Alkaline Trio, and why the hell not? Matt Skiba appears to have successfully stepped into Tom's shoes, so it's only natural he'd bring something to the table. 'California' is an album packed full of new fan favourites and obvious live crowd-pleasers.
From the old-school Blink feel and scorching pop-punk riff pulling you into the killer chorus of 'Left Alone', to the driving nananana's of 'Sober' (co-written by Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump), without giving too much away, 'California' is sure to please even the pickiest fan.
Top tracks from where I'm standing? 'She's Out Of Her Mind' has Blink-182 classic written all over it - killer hook, sing-along chorus – what's not to love? 'Home Is Such a Lonely Place' sees the band in an acoustic, contemplative mood, and 'Cynical' has that typical, driving pop-punk perfection we fans have come to expect from the guys.
It's safe to say opinions will probably be split on whether this is Blink-182 at their best. It's early days, but the positive fan reactions are already coming in thick and fast, proving Blink-182 still have what it takes to bring the thunder to pop-punk, and the question of whether Matt Skiba will fill the void left by Tom has finally been answered.
California Dreaming – Deluxe Edition
"We got a problem... the deluxe album might even be better than California." So said Travis Barker on the expectations of how well the new material for the deluxe version will be received. The extra material is promised to be high octane, high energy punk pop with a rocky feel, and with a couple of ballads thrown in for good measure, who could possibly ask for more?
Already up for best rock album at the 2017 Grammys, and having knocked Drake off the top spot on the Billboard Hot 200, California was already proving to be one of Blink's most successfully received albums.
But with the extra material, California Deluxe edition is all set to be worth its weight in gold, or should that be platinum!
Blink has confirmed a monstrous 11 new songs will be added to the existing California tracklist, including the riotous 'Parking Lot', the melancholic 'Misery', and an acoustic version of fan favourite 'Bored To Death'. Set for release in May 2017, we can't wait to see what treats the punk-pop boys have in store!