Released Year: 2016
Things have been messy with Blink-182 ever since the drama with Tom DeLonge quitting, but not actually quitting, the band. Since then remaining members Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker moved on without DeLonge recruiting Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba. It was initially for a few shows, but then there were talks of a new album. Considering everything that happened and DeLonge still insisting he’s not done with Blink-182, new music seemed like it was never going to happen. Blink changed that by releasing the single “Bored to Death” from their upcoming album California.
The song is standard Blink-182 pop-punk fare: low key verses, intense percussion, explosive chorus, and an overall anthemic feel. Hoppus takes over on vocals, while Skiba picks up backing vocals. With somewhat grim lyrics referencing growing up and “not coming home” it’s a pretty solid song. It’s nothing that’ll blow fans minds or get them excited for the new album right off the bat. I wasn’t even that impressed with the song when I first heard it, but listen to it a few more times and it’ll grow on you.
The chorus is simple, easy to remember, and is prone for sing-alongs. And the bridge with the “oh oh ohs” is infectious. It’s such a cheap way to make something stick, but damn it’s effective. It does feel overdone when the mindless singing comes in one more time near the end of the song. Skiba’s guitar playing is on par with the other guys. It doesn’t sound like he’s trying to copy what DeLonge did, but his style isn’t so drastic that it sticks out from the other members. Even his singing is pretty good and it makes me curious how he’ll sound on lead vocals. At times it does sound like a song suited for +44, but this could be because Hoppus is singing.
“Bored to Death” is nowhere near Blink-182’s best or most exciting material, but it’s promising. Overtime the song grows on you getting better and better, making you pumped for the rest of the album. Plus, Skiba seems like a good fit for the band. His style fits in with the other guys and never sounds like he’s a carbon copy of DeLonge. Of course no matter what you think of DeLonge, the group won’t be the same without him, but it’s great that this new chapter of Blink-182 is off to a great start.