Mark Hoppus + Panic! at the Disco Thursday, Aug 13 2009 

According to an article on MTV.com, Mark Hoppus heard a few demos from the new Panic! at the Disco record and has committed to producing at least one. Mark Hoppus is, far and away, the most overrated producer in the scene right now. Mixing his lazy production techniques with Panic! at the Disco’s regressing sound structure seems like an idea so natural, anyone could have come up with it. This just ups my anti-hype for the new Panic! record (anti-hype is when you’re excited to hear a record that you know will be absolute garbage). Try and catch these two bands on tour in a town near you. It should be a fun time for all.

Review – Blink-182 – Blink-182 Monday, Jul 13 2009 

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way; I do not like Blink-182 in the least. However, I have an immense amount of respect for them. With the release of Enema of the State in 1999, Blink-182 popularized the genre of pop punk, simply because, at the time, they were doing it better than anyone else. Their follow up, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, continued them on the path of being teenage anthem kings. However, in 2003, Blink-182 ditched the fart jokes and dick references and crafted an album completely different from anything they’d made before. Some fans called it a self-titled, while others said it was untitled. No matter what it was, it cemented Blink-182’s status as, not only the biggest star of their genre, but the innovators of it as well. The release of Blink-182 proved that the pop punk genre Blink had helped create could be clever, mature, and unique. It was a huge risk for Blink to take it paid off dividends to their history. Unfortunately, soon after the release of Blink-182 Blink went on an indefinite hiatus and, soon after, broke up for good. Blink-182 serves as a reminder that these Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Travis Barker were always smarter than we gave them credit for.

Blink-182 opens with “Feeling This”, a pop punk anthem to sex done in a more mature way than was thought possible from the genre at the time. Musically, it shows a band abandoning their traditional aspect of loud, fast, power chords, opting instead for a drum-driven rhythm. This musical differences is shown several times throughout the album (“Violence”, “All of This”). Also, the lyrics on Blink-182 are different. For example, on their previous records, it wasn’t uncommon to find Blink singing about fucking dogs or getting blowjobs. However, their lyrics on this album venture through loneliness (“I Miss You”), frustration with life (“Always”), and several other themes previously undealt with for the band. Now, this album isn’t for everyone, of course, but if you don’t like anything else Blink-182 has done, there’s a slight chance you’ll enjoy seeing the direction they were going in before their hiatus. If not for breaking up, with the influence and mainstream appeal they possessed, Blink-182 could have easily been one of the major musical revolutions of the 20th century.

Overall rating: 8.1/10