I’ve only listened to this album once, going into it I wanted to love this album. I wanted to love it like I love Dude Ranch, like I love Enema of the State and Take of Your Pants and Jacket. I wanted to be thrown back to 7th grade, back to when spiked hair and studded bracelets were cool. I used to worship these guys and I still listen to them randomly throughout the week. That magic only comes out on a few songs.
Their first single from ‘California’, “Bored to Death” gave me hope, it was my first glimpse at a Blink after Tom Delong (former bassist and singer) left the band. It had a little of the same old sound I love, but with some other new stuff mixed it, it blended well.
Matt Skiba, who replaced Tom Delong holds his own just fine. He brings a great energy from Avenged Sevenfold and his sound mixes well with what Mark and Travis have helped create over the past 20 years.
‘California’ is still full of the fart jokes and dick jokes that have become synonymous with Blink 182. The guys are getting older, all in their 40’s now, so some of those jokes fall flat, others are welcomed. “Built this Pool” reminds me of the extra tracks on ‘The Mark, Tom and Travis Show’. It’s still fun to hear and a welcome addition to this album.
The big downfall of ‘California’ are the songs that pay homage to their home state. “Los Angeles”, “California” and “San Diego” are all pretty corny. Songs like “Sober”, “Kings of the Weekend” and “She’s Out of Her Mind” are some highlights. They sound like a mix of prime Blink.
Ugh, the final track “Brohemian Rhapsody” it gave me so much hope. Everything about it was perfect, pure late 90’s early 2000’s Blink; sadly it was only 30 seconds long. Mark, Travis and Matt, if for whatever reason you’re reading this; do that. Do what you did on “Brohemian Rhapsody”, but do it for 14, three-four minute tracks.
It leaves you wanting more of that now classic sound they created. The only lyrics in their final song sum up my feelings of ‘California’ pretty well. “There’s something about you, That I can’t quite put my finger in”.
Nostalgia – 4/5
Lyrics – 3/5
Proper Use of Hair Gel – 3/5
“Brohemian Rhapsody” – 5/5
Overall – 3.2/5