By Andrew Ayala
Blink-182 make its way back into the music scene with the release of its eighth official (ninth according to singer/bassist Mark Hoppus) album titled “Nine.”
Blink-182 has gone through a few line up changes and breaks throughout the years, but this album includes Mark Hoppus on Bass, Travis Barker on drums and the newest addition to the trio, Matt Skiba on guitar.
Skiba replaced former guitarist Tom DeLonge in 2015 but still manages to get the job done throughout the album with high-pitched vocals and catchy choruses.
Skiba succeeds in evolving and growing with the band by matching their energy and style throughout the album.
“Nine” gives off the sound and quality of a properly matured rock band opposed to a band that comes together only to perform past albums or material for monetary gain.
This album was created when all band members still have love for the art that is music. Fans of their old albums can hear their maturity through lyrics that deal with heart-break, heart-ache, depression and love opposed to “All the Small Things” or “The Girl at the Rock Show,” which are lyrics from earlier releases.
Although, the songs aren’t of the same classic pop-punkesque that listeners are used to, it is still an album that can be played all the way through without skipping a track.
The music is still pop-punk, but with a distinct hip-hop influence in some songs which comes in the form of drum beats or Skiba and Hoppus rapping over a Barker drum beat.
Many of the songs are focused around Barker’s drum beats opposed to the guitar melodies.
The shortest songs on the album are arguably the best. “Generational Divide” hits listeners right away with intense guitar and drum sounds that resemble their old punk style. Skiba singing with what sounds like his lips pressed to the mic match the drums and guitar with raw-sounding vocals.
“Ransom” is a track that starts off with a slow and smooth beat with Hoppus’s angelic vocals and Barkers insane drum skills.
When the chorus begins, listeners get a vibe similar to “Generational Divide,” which sounds like what a mosh-pit should feel like, intense jumping and non-stop headbanging.
Right off the bat listeners are hit with “The First Time” which is a decent paced song where we get a taste of what Skiba can do with his voice.
His high-pitch is always on point with the mashing sounds of drum and guitar. The fact that his voice is similar but not the same as Delonge’s makes it work.
The first half of the album sends messages of frustration, depression and other world events but still manages to throw in bits of advice and ways to cope with these issues.
Albums like this can be powerful because they express emotions and problems that people have in their everyday lives.
These songs give the ‘90s punk sounds that millenials may have loved and grew up with.
“Run Away” stands out because this is the most obvious hybrid of hip-hop and pop-punk in the album.
The song sounds like an ode to another band named Linkin Park except with the raps of Hoppus and Skiba as opposed to the sound of a well-established rap legend like Jay-Z.
The second half of the album has a lot of the heart-break and love songs. “Pin the Grenade” is a song where Hoppus and Skiba go back-and-forth explaining issues with a significant other and how they want out.
The catchy guitar strums and drum beats along with powerful lyrics make this one of the most memorable. “Hungover You” has a Maroon 5 sound influence but in proper punk Blink-182 style. “Remember To Forget Me” is a perfect way to end such an emotional album.
This is a song that shows the people who once sang ridiculous and raunchy lyrics have now decided to grow-up and show just how much they have perfected their craft while facing the obstacles of life.
“Nine” is a refreshing album that shows no matter the day and age, Blink-182 can make contemporary songs with a modern and classic influence.
Although the lyrics and sounds aren’t exactly the same, new listeners can get a taste of what Blink-182 is as a whole with this album. “Nine” was released on Friday and is available on all streaming platforms.