There hasn’t been a spring since I started driving, that I haven’t rolled down the windows on the first nice day of the year (before the pollen count destroys me), and blasted Blink-182. For many years in my youth as part of the music “scene” and beyond, it was a sign of spring for myself and fellow scene kids. Well into my 30s, I still keep to the tradition.
So, while in NYC driving around on the first incredibly nice day of the year in a 2021 Maserati Levante GTS (review to come soon), I rolled down the windows, opened the panoramic sunroof, and soundtracked my drive with Blink-182. “Happy Days,” off the band’s 2019 album Nine, might have been replayed a few times that day, and several more since then.
Blink-182's music certainly sounds different since Tom DeLonge’s departure to hunt aliens and such (ok, he was basically booted from the band due to irreconcilable differences and some other things). Tom was eventually replaced by Alkaline Trio’s guitarist and singer Matt Skiba, and Blink’s sound has evolved since.
Not everyone was a fan of their first real album recorded as a new trio together, California. But you had to look at this album, the sound — a little beyond the original Blink-182. In all honesty, I quite enjoyed the mature sound, that still carries many notes of the original Blink-182 wound throughout it. Nine, is also similar in nature. Also, you gotta remember these guys have already hit 50 or are nearing that age, so do we really expect them to keep writing songs like we listened to from Cheshire Cat, or Dude Ranch? As a person now in their mid-30s, I would say not.
Anyway, “Happy Days,” has an upbeat, catchy rhythm to it, with the same Blink-182 guitar riffs enhanced by the drumming mastermind that is Travis Barker. (Yes, I know there are also other great drummers out there, but have you ever watched Barker drumming live? I did back in 2009 at what has returned to Pine Knob, and a platform, with Barker and his drum kit aboard, came out over the crowd, leaning from side to side while he did a drum solo. I was impressed.) The lyrics are the other layer of the real world sandwich of this song, which are depressingly relatable considering the current state of things. Really, Nine as a whole speaks to those very real feelings.
If you’re still not ready to embrace the newer Blink sound this spring/summer season, you know there are quite a few good albums to fall back on. When all else fails, I still love a good open-window jam session to Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and their self-titled album. Honestly, you’ll want to jam to them all over the weekend.