Artist – Blink 182
Album – Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)
Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/4kuOpGJb8CBMT4Egr9UroK
Blink 182 are a pop-punk band from California, USA. The band formed in 1992 and have most prominently been lead by the trio; Mark Hoppus – bass/vocals, Tom DeLonge – guitar/vocals and Travis Barker – drums, although did feature former drummer Scott Raynor. Blink 182 were amongst a few bands to develop the pop-punk genre (NoFx, Pennywise), combing simple power chord driven songs with toilet humour filled lyrics and a skateboarding/pizza-eating image. Blink 182 went on to inspire such artists as Sum 41 and Good Charlotte to the now annoyingly shiny/mainstream friendly All Time Low.
‘Enama Of The State’ is by some considered the bands most important album, it features some of the bands biggest hits and really introduced their style, despite the few albums before it. I personally think ‘Take Of Your Pants and Jacket’ is a better album however, it seems to fit together more cohesively, rather than a string of independent pop-punk singles. The album starts with one of my all time favourite album/song intros ‘Anthem Part Two’, an intro which is simple in its technique/musicality, but just starts the album off so urgently and then builds texturally into a great American Pie-esque track. Spread across TOYPJ are plenty of Blink’s most memorable tracks, notably ‘The Rock Show’ and ‘First Date’, two songs which ooze Blink 182’s spirit of joyful energy, funny lyrics and catchy melodies/hooks. The hilarity of their lyrics carries on into odd little skits, such as the 43 second ‘Happy Holidays, You Bastard’, featuring lyrics such as “I’ll never talk to you again, unless your mom will touch my cock, I’ll never talk to you again, ejaculate into a sock” … neither mature or thought provoking in anyway, but further portraying their image and personalities in their music. Two key components have always stood out in Blink’s music and obviously feature prominently in this album, those being Travis Barkers’s drumming and Tom DeLonge’s vocals. Tom has a pretty unique tone and delivery, which many a fan like to mimic, This delivery can be heard on most songs and combined with Marks super up-beat pop-punk vocals makes a great combo, which is now engrained in many a rock fans heads. Travis Barkers playing is a funny one, continuously being named one of the best drummers of all time (be it by Kerrang/Scuzz etc), to me he has never earned that acknowledgment. Personally I think Barker’s playing stands out to people and maybe looks better than it is due to the very simplistic stuff Tom and Mark are playing, but don’t get me wrong, Barker’s fills and beats are perfect for the music and have pushed the songs above what they would have been with any other pop-punk drummer.
‘Take Of Your Jacket and Pants’ is and will always be a fun album to listen to, any time, any day. Due to the soundtrack, it brings back memories of watching American Pie and therefore as a child from the UK a vision of what we thought American youth culture was; parties, drinking, skating. It is not an album you need to sit and think about its message afterwards or deconstruct musically, just sit and let it lift your spirits.