Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, Matt & Kim

There's something mercurial about punk rock: a snapshot of intense, snobbish certainty about one's ideals, predilections or foibles, an incendiary moment that ends in a flash. In other words, ideally, punk bands should pull the plug after a string of singles or a handful of albums, leaving fans to wonder what might have been.

Nth generation brat-punk trio Blink-182 missed this memo and overstayed their welcome, making the transition from dick-joke three-chord pop to the Cure before flaming out in acrimony. Subsequent side projects underwhelmed, but tatted-up drummer Travis Barker got his own reality show and befriended a great many rappers. Now, lacking the courage of their individual convictions, they're back to cash in on your thirst for, specifically, "What's My Age Again?" and, generally, pre-9/11 nostalgia.

There's a new record on the way, too, of course.

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Ray Cummings