Is your favorite band too mainstream? Blink-182 just provided a solution for that.
The extended play entitled Dogs Eating Dogs was released last December 18 to the delight of the fans looking forward to the new sound of Blink-182, may it be for them to continue the approach they had in their reunion album Neighbourhoods, or to introduce a whole new sound altogether. This album is also self produced by the band itself, which officially makes them “indie”, giving them more freedom and leeway when it comes to the sound that they want to create.
Right off the bat, what is noticeable is that the band used synthesisers in their songs. This would eliminate then the hopes of some fans who would prefer to return to their late 1990s era pop-punk sound. This EP suggests a matured, refined sound orginially manifested in the Neighbourhoods album, and a bit before this self-titled album. Some fans also consider their newer material as a mixture of the individual bands they became a part of during their break-up, Angles and Airwaves (Delonge) and +44 (Hoppus and Barker).
The song Boxing Day, released to the public via radio a few days before the release of the EP, is a Christmas song; incidentally, it also shows how much the guitars have gone, from the power chords and switch, to a gentler plucking in the mellowest manner. Compared to their other Christmas song, I Won’t Be Home for Christmas, it leaves behind the whole teenage angst feel, with Boxing Day having more heart, a tad sincerer, and obviously with lyrics well thought out, with the letters being sung by both Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus.
The other songs were basically as dark as the recent albums, with a slight touch of the synthesisers making them less depressing. The faster parts catch you by surprise, since majority of the songs start out slow. The catchiness of the chorus just oozes out the talent the band has in the composition of melodies, and their accompaniment with the apt lyrics.
Compared to the reunion album Neighbourhoods, the band’s sound did not change as much in terms of the choice or style in lyrics and composition and the heavy use of effects in the guitars. It sounds more of the same, in fact; but besides the song numbers of each compilation, Dogs Eating Dogs sounds like the songs have more work, some soul put into them, and it feels more personal for fans. It feels rawer; this is what makes it good.
For a 20 year-old group, the music they provided to fans fused, presenting the members’ individual interests in music being put together. Travis Barker, for instance, inclines to the hip hop genre and makes it clear in the album. The song Pretty Little Girl has a hip hop and rap-influenced part, with words only backed up by the drumming.
Dogs does not provide a “new” Blink 182 merely because of the songs; but then again, it feels like they revamped their entire style and way of playing in general, thanks to a mix of influences, and it would be exciting to look into how their future projects will be like.