Blink-182 – Nine

Blink-182 were one of the key bands during my formative years. Enema Of The State & Take Off Your Pants and Jacket were albums in constant rotation back in the day. So it is with more than a passing interest and a keen ear that I’ve followed the band through their career.

Like every band, there are some albums I like more than others, but I always look forward to seeing what they came out with next.

Nine funnily enough is the band’s ninth studio release and the follow up to California, it’s the second album to feature Matt Skiba as vocalist and permanent member of the band.

It says to be said up front that Skiba’s prescence is a lot more prevailant on this record, which makes Nine feel more whole and collaborative in nature.

I think it’s safe to say that Nine is somewhat of a bridging album, in the sense that it pulls from all era’s of the band’s sound,thankfully foregoing some lyrical immaturity in the process.

Heaven, Run Away and Black Rain showcase Blink’s more emotional side, that informed their 2003 self-titled album. It’s these moments where you can sense the strength of the Hoppus/Skiba dynamic that has formed over the creation of these last two records.

Generational Divide is 49 second pop punk sprint, that is about as old school as they get here. It’s a fun little energy blast that gives the album a little kick.

I Really Wish I Hated You and Darkside, two of the album’s singles are right up there with two of the biggest earworms that have ever been commited to the band’s canon. I Really Wish I Hated You, may seen childish in nature, and yes it is a little bit, but the chorus is absolutely massive, so much so I woke up two mornings in a row with it stuck in my head.

Darkside is a giant anthem full of youthful exuberance that has melody so sweet, you’ll get diabetes just from humming it. I wouldn’t throw all my chips in on it being the best song on the album but it is definitely one of them.

Pin the Grenade is another little banger, that tells the story of a relationship mired in trust issues and falling apart that features the lyric “Hey Pin the Grenade, if you don’t love me, lie to my face” it’s classic Blink through and through, and sets the second half of the album off on the right foot.

On Some Emo Shit wins the award for best song title on the album, and kind of does exactly what it says on the tin. It is one moment where the album doesn’t quite live up to the rest of it and comes across more or less like a b-side belonging to one of the many bands that made a living off of ripping Blink-182 off.

Hungover You brings things back by filtering huge widescreen balladry through the prism of Travis Barker’s excellent instrumentation focusing on his beats and programming, before exploding into a titanic chorus that really punctuates the emotion and sentiment expressed in the song. It is one the album’s highlights and one of more interesting songs they have ever written.

Nine is a focused and mature record, that does have some moments where it stumbles, but also shows how much creativity Blink-182 still have while also cementing the current lineup and ushering a new era of the band in.

In my humble opinion this is the most complete and fufilling record that Blink- 182 have written since their seminal 2003 self titled album and one that will give fans of any and all eras of the band something to smile about

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