Something magical happened in the waning hours of the Grammy Awards last Sunday, an event so magical it nearly crushed the Internet (I exaggerate). After four years of waiting, three bold faces have finally risen above the unforgiving rock clich’eacute; ‘indefinite hiatus.’ They dare to say the words that we all feel in our hearts. They rip off George Carlin. They make Green Day look fake (because they are). They paved the way for artists to put porn stars on their album covers. I ask you, humble readers, to go to the church service of your choice this Sunday to give thanks to the god(s) for the resurgence of one of the greatest bands we will ever know: blink-182.
You laugh, but I’m mind-blowingly serious. blink-182 is probably the band that perfectly typified what it felt like to be a teenager in the ‘American Pie’ age. They are the only band that could write a 42-second song called ‘Happy Holidays, You Bastard’ about excrement and ejaculation, and still sell that album 12 million times. Either they existed in a time when Geffen Records wasn’t paying any attention to quality control (which is entirely possible), or blink created a persona that their songs fed off of, not the other way around. Sure they write airtight singles (‘Feeling This’ changed my life, no lie), but so does Secondhand Serenade, and they suck. Instead, blink represents a carefully constructed entity, much in the way R.E.M. and The Smiths represented alternative rock and it’s listeners in the early 80s. Tom DeLonge is certainly not as important as Michael Stipe or Morrissey, but the case could be made that all made similar contributions in their times. Bands that wear their hearts on their sleeves (re: Brand New) proudly laud the Smiths’ back catalogue in the same way bands like All Time Low recognize that they are making joke music, and love Mark Hoppus for allowing them to do so. This is why blink side projects Angels & Airwaves and (+44) sucked; the public was supposed to take them seriously, a dangerous break in character that we couldn’t understand.
Blink-182 filled a void as the speaker for a disaffected pseudo-punk youth audience that couldn’t stand hearing another Backstreet Boys song on the radio. We came in too late for grunge, and punk was dead 10 years before we were born. So, in our lack of a musical face, we turned to three kids who were basically just like us. They didn’t listen to The Stone Temple Pilots or *NSYNC; hell, they couldn’t even play their instruments well. Their breakout single sang ‘I guess this is growing up,’ and for the next six years, they didn’t. They fell in love with girls at concerts. They had girlfriends who drove them home when they were hammered. They had dysentery. They were just like us. They were us. Now they’re back. So crank up ‘Man Overboard,’ and thank the good lord that we don’t have to grow up yet.