2001, Music

Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) by Blink-182

Science this band is terrible. It’s a testament to the fact that we love the music we do due to the music we’re exposed to in our teens and early twenties that there are so many positive reviews of this album. There are plenty of totally okay, mediocre albums that get panned on Rate Your Music because teenage boys don’t like that music. And this dreck has a 3.15/5 at the moment because you all liked this when you were teenagers.

As I said about Enema of the State, Blink-182 are the point at which the pop completely overwhelms the punk in pop punk. I don’t like pop punk, but at least earlier pop punk bands sounds like punk bands some or most of the time. This, though, sounds like power pop without the power, and the only thing that identifies it as “punk” is the incessant whine, much stronger with DeLonge than Hoppus of course.

If you like this music, ask yourself if any of these songs would appeal to you if you first heard them in your 30s. (Or, hopefully, even your late twenties.) I heard the hits when I was in my early twenties, having already decided I did not like this group (but I liked their earlier videos because I was a teenage boy!) and they did nothing for me. They do less now. The rest of the tracks are not better than the hits.

And Blink-182 fit into one of my pet peeves when it comes to lyric writing: they want to be ridiculous and “funny” but then they want to be earnest. I find it really hard to take earnest lyrics seriously when they are on the same album as

Unless your dad will suck me off, I’ll never talk to you again
Unless your mom will touch my cock, I’ll never talk to you again
Ejaculate into a sock, I’ll never talk to you again
I’ll never talk to you again.

(For example.)

You know what might save this at least a little bit? Better musicianship. I don’t blame Barker, he seems like he’s the best musician in the band, if a little too busy at times. But the other two guys…they’d sell this better if they were better at their axes. Yes, it’s pop punk, and most pop punk bands don’t care about musicianship. But better playing might make this less hard to take.

I guess there’s nothing wrong with the production from a technical standpoint. There’s something wrong with it from an aesthetic standpoint, I’d say, but I understand that this is not “punk” music and so it should sound like this.

Blink-182 are one of those bands who have sold so many records and I cannot understand why. I understand a little more with them than some, because I was a teenage boy too, but I do find it mystifying.

This is not what good music sounds like, folks.

4/10

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