Blink-182, Cypress Hill and Taking Back Sunday

You know how in TV shows about high school, like Saved by the Bell or Beverly Hills, 90210, the students never seemed to get older? Instead they just cycled through the same conflicts and issues with no attention paid to the way time seems to fly during those years. How, in fact, it feels like hardly a day goes by when you're that age without some earthshaking shift in reality? Blink-182 noticed that and has been making up for it. Their constantly evolving vision of teen-geared pop-punk took a major leap into postadolescent complexity on last year's self-titled CD--dick jokes out, reflections on wartime romance in. If at first the maturation chafes--check the weird instrumental noodling that sounds imported from a Slint record--it ultimately clicks into place and you realize how truly gutsy a move it is: The Warped Tour gets an influx of new, eternally baby-faced recruits every year, but Blink is holding it down for the frustrated kids who know all too well what their age is. Again.
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Mikael Wood

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