7.7.09

Blink-182

Blink-182 was that band for me. The one where you don't just fall in love with the songs. The one where you fall in love the band itself. Blink-182 are like the Platonic ideal of a pop punk three piece. Two immature, hyperactive teens with guitars yelling knob jokes at each other, one voice piercingly whiny, the other relaxed and playful. They skip and prance around each other like merry jesters, while behind them sits the serene drummer above his giant drum kit, looking like some tattooed punk rock Buddha. He rests cool and aloof before the song begins, but is then transformed into a furious blizzard of flaying arms, head rocking back and forth with the rhythm. The two up front can barely keep up. Each of their songs is played triple time. Two-minute-long bullets of youthful exuberance.

How can you not love these guys? Every summer, when the sun begins to burn through London's grey clouds, Blink-182 jumps back on the playlist. This one will be no different. It isn't even about the quality of the music. I am not besotted enough to fail to appreciate its derivative nature. Let's not forget that Green Day came first, and did that pop punk thing much better. But there's something about Hoppus's earnest and confused lyrics, and something about Delonge's voice, that pulls me into the Blink-182 camp.

I've deleted them from my Last.fm library (yes, I am one of those people) a good while ago, embarrassed at how completely they take over during the summer months. I shall probably have to do the same this summer as well. I have a respectable image to maintain.

Enema of the State and Take Off Your Pants and Jacket are the classic albums. They got more serious on their final (eponymous) effort, which was good, but for the 'feels like summer' vibe you need to go for the first two. They aren't perfect albums, so I've always preferred to collect the best bits in one fantasy uber-album. I call it Peter Pan Complex, after the original name for the song "What's My Name Again?", which the record company changed to avoid confusing idiot children. I think it pretty much captures the appeal of the band in a nutshell.

The basic idea behind the track-listing was to switch between Delonge and Hoppus on lead vocals, so things stay interesting. Apart from that, the a cappella intro of "Reckless Abandon" had to introduce the album. And I felt the devastating "Stay Together For The Kids" and then the subdued "Story Of A Lonely Guy" would be the perfect closing pair. Apart from that, the mix follows the original track-listing pretty closely, partly because songs segue into each other, and partly because those boys knew what they were doing in the first place. Anyway, here it is:

Peter Pan Complex

Side 1
1. Reckless Abandon
2. Every Time I Look For You
3. Mutt
4. Online Songs
5. All The Small Things
6. Man Overboard
7. First Date
8. The Rock Show

Side 2
9. Dumpweed
10. Don't Leave Me
11. Aliens Exist
12. Going Away To College
13. What's My Age Again?
14. Wendy Clear
15. Please Take Me Home
16. Stay Together For The Kids
17. Story Of A Lonely Guy

And because I'm an even crazier fan than you think, I've bothered to collect the out-takes into two dream EPs, which in my Blink-182 fantasy would have been released before the album to bump expectations, so that when it came out it would have gone stratospheric and changed the pop landscape. Ridicule is welcomed. Each EP would feature only one of the two vocalists. In my delusions, I imagined the two would hold a tongue-in-cheek competition in which whoever sells more would be declared the band's official frontman. A PR stunt of some genius, I thought. Anyway, look:

The Delonge EP
1. Anthem Part 2
2. Dysentery Gary
3. Give Me One Good Reason
4. All The Small Things
5. What Went Wrong
6. Anthem

The Hoppus EP
1. Adam's Song
2. The Rock Show
3. Roller Coaster
4. Happy Holidays, You Bastard
5. The Party Song
6. Shut Up

Now I'll leave you alone.

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