Joe Williams
Mark Hoppus at Aaron's Amphitheatre in Atlanta on October 7, 2009.
It's been 399 weeks and three days since Blink-182 released its last


Yes, I'm a Blink-182 Nut, But the New Single 'Up All Night' Is a Step in the Right Direction

Joe Williams
Mark Hoppus at Aaron's Amphitheatre in Atlanta on October 7, 2009.
It's been 399 weeks and three days since Blink-182 released its last self-titled album (seriously, who's counting?), and at 10:30 this morning, the pop-punk trio debuted the new single "Up All Night" on L.A. radio station KROQ and at

For reasons of transparency, let it be known that I fall somewhere in the realm of "not fit for children" when it comes to my love for the punk-rockers-turned-fathers. For 14 years, since the tender age of 8, Blink has been my drug of choice, through fights with friends in middle school to silly high-school break-ups.

Lyrics like "Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits, fart, turd, and twat" from the live song "Family Reunion" on The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (2000) just scream for sixth-grade boys to sing along. (My mother never knew that song was on the CD, but I still turned out fine. Thanks, Mom.)

My love for the band's naked antics, perverse sense of humor, and cement-like friendship was all but shat on, however, when it was announced they would be taking an "indefinite hiatus" in 2005, due to tension that was fairly evident to die-hard fans. It seemed as if the impenetrable bonds of friendship had indeed broken, and all fingers seemed to be pointed at guitarist Tom Delonge.

Fast-forward six years and a handful of broken promises, and Blink, composed of Delonge, bassist Mark Hoppus, and drummer Travis Barker, is finally back with a song that is getting a lot of mixed feedback on forums and websites.

For what it's worth, here is my two cents' worth.

The spacey-electronic effects during the first 20 seconds are questionable, and at first I was terrified where the song was headed. Much speculation has been made about what direction Blink would go in--the grandioso out-of-this-world musings of Angels & Airwaves (Delonge) or the so-cal emo-punk nature of +44 (Hoppus, Barker).

But that's just the first 20 seconds. The rest of the song unveils a mature progression for the band, one that has been buried and hidden since Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001).

The heavy distorted guitar that comes in plays very much like Box Car Racer, Tom's 2002 side project alongside Barker. BCR was Tom's heavier outlet, where he played and performed music that didn't mesh with the band. The very fact it's laced into the song is important--Tom got his input. Compromises were made.

In fact, the entire song plays like back-and-forth compromises between Hoppus and Delonge. The verse at :33 plays like +44, and features Delonge and Hoppus singing together over a few light bass notes and fast guitar strumming. The chorus has Angels and Airwaves written all over it--Tom's voice is studio-tweaked and "floating," and the instrumentation falls out to further that feeling--but that's OK. The song, though maybe not what fans were clamoring for, represents the part of Blink that died--the friendship.

"We're all so stoked to finally have music out that people can listen to. I think I'm probably more excited than anyone else in the world for the new single," Hoppus told MTV in an e-mail. " 'Up All Night' contains elements of everything we've done in Blink-182, and pushes further than we've gone before. Can't wait for everyone to check it out."

Also, for what it's worth, the fact this doesn't register an immediate 10 shouldn't be an end-all to Blink fans. When was the last time Blink's single was the best song on the album? Never.

In my opinion, if a Blink single is halfway decent, it says good things for where the album as a whole will lie. "Feeling This" was not the best single on their 2004 self-titled effort, but it was the most radio-friendly. I suspect this might be the case here.

Fans of Blink shouldn't cast them aside just yet. They may not be the punk-rock guys who ran around naked with bleached hair and sang about "getting blowjobs from your mom," but they appear to have finally reconciled any differences that were holding them back musically. Maybe it really did take the near-death of Travis Barker in 2008 (a tragic plane crash that took four lives) for the band to put things in perspective.

In all honesty, I've spoken against any new material Blink had to offer for quite some time now. I truly believed there was no way they could rekindle their past feelings. Maybe this is just the beginning. (Or maybe I need to just stop rambling.)

Blink-182's new album Neighborhoods is tentatively slated for a September 27 release.

What do you think about Blink's new song? Post in the comments below!

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