Their teenage toilet humor made perfect pop punk sense in the early 2000s—but what’s their age again now?
Blink-182 was one of the most prominent pop-punk bands to take over the music world. But should fans cringe or rejoice hearing that they’re returning?
Their hit albums Enema of a State (1999) and Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) went platinum in the U.S. and are still anthems for pop-punkers everywhere. Tracks like “All The Small Things” and “The Rock Show” can get an entire crowd of millennials singing along instantly. Their no-fucks-given attitude was ahead of its time alongside American sweethearts like Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys. The young skater bad boys plastered their attitude everywhere on MTV with the video for “What’s My Age Again?” featuring the trio streaking across a town.
Blink-182 “What’s My Age Again?”
However, back when their songs were hits, us millennials were all on the same page as the band. Their angsty toilet humor and songs about immaturity, relationships and aliens were exactly what all of us were feeling then. Even now, we still cling to our memes, YouTube alien conspiracy videos and all around nostalgia.
Contemporary pop-punk band Thick, who are unabashedly huge Blink-182 fans and claim they want to be the female version of Blink-182, are also a little iffy on Blink’s announcement of a new album.
“I hope they stop singing about the cool shit you do as a kid,” Thick bassist, Kate Black, tells BTRtoday. “Because it’s an extremely awkward look on an adult man.”
Shari Page, Thick’s drummer and the member who tags Blink-182 via Twitter and Instagram all the time in hopes to get a tour with them, also didn’t seem thrilled. “As a die hard fan, I have to say it’s not the same unless Tom is in it,” she says. “The Alkaline Trio dude helped them write songs for teenage boys to be singing.”
Thick guitarist and vocalist Nicole Sisti always warms up with a Blink-182 song before playing and has the band’s poster plastered on their practice space wall. However, though she seems excited about their announcement, she adds they shouldn’t be called Blink-182 anymore. “It’s weird and not the same,” she says about Blink’s most recent releases. “If you’re writing new songs with new people you should reinvent the project.”
Blink-182 fans on Reddit agreed. Redditor HandsOffTheBayou commented on r/poppunkers saying he also thinks the group should rebrand. “They should change the band name for this lineup in my opinion [to] Blink-183 maybe,” he writes. “It just isn’t Blink without Tom and without guitar riffs.”
Fellow reddit r/poppunker follower bobbyjohnson21 commented saying, “in my honest opinion, California was okay, but not bad at all—I’m hoping now that Skiba’s been in the band for a while they’ll start putting out better music going forward.”
While the pop-punk community embraced Blink-182’s last release California (2016), the band didn’t come close to their former popularity. Many factors could have played into that—for one, original frontman Tom Delonge had quit and was replaced by Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio. However, fans seem most irked that these now 40-something-year-olds were still singing about being irresponsible kids.
You might be able to get away with running butt naked by a few unsuspecting kids and couples when you’re 23, but when you’re still in that same mindset when you’re middle aged, it’s just kind of sad.
Pitchfork wrote in their review of California back in 2016 that the band was an “aging pack of skater brats” that are still “young, selectively dumb, and full of commiserating angst.” And Spin magazine just hated the album altogether, saying that pop-punk isn’t meant to have a long life span.
Is Blink-182 destined to be a band of nostalgia and simply digging their own grave every time they release new material? Will they be able to steer this aging group of pop punk fans towards maturity? Or will they always have us asking what’s our age again?
This week we've got some new songs by some badass bands like Thick, Speedy Ortiz & The Muckers—you gotta tune-in! | listen