blink-182 premiered their first new song, Up All Night, in 8 years last night. The online music community is a-buzz, with people arguing left or right whether or not it's any good, whether or not it was worth the wait, whether or not it would be obvious that it would sound kind of like Angels and Airwaves and whether or not the band was good in the first place (generally "punks" and people who generally jaded by anything considering "popular" fall into that camp).
I should note that I grew up with blink-182. I was in middle school when Enema of the State came out and became a hit, so I was impressionable enough to get into their brand of major label punk rock. To this day I still enjoy it, even if it isn't the most profound music. It's always baffled me how people can call blink-182 "shitty" for making dick and fart jokes, but then adore NOFX or the Queers when they do the same thing (granted, both NOFX and the Queers will also make other sentiments with their music, but I digress). But I never listened to blink-182 for their outstanding political statements or direct opposition to social injustices. It's fun, silly music. Sure sometimes they hit a heavy subject, but it was always just enjoyable music so long that you didn't care that you were listening to something that was popular on the radio.
Anywho, I'm getting off topic there. The new song. The first new song they've released since their untitled album (oft-referred to as their self-titled although Travis Barker has gone on record saying the album doesn't have a title) in 2003. I can't speak for anyone else, but I was actually pretty excited even though my interest in the band had died down in the past few years. It was exciting. Like, there aren't many extremely popular bands from my lifetime that have broken up and then gotten back together like they have. Maybe the Backstreet Boys? No, I wouldn't count that (although some would argue blink-182 started the whole "boy band with guitars thing"). They weren't even broken up for that long, but it's the words they traded back and forth that made chances of a reunion seem hopeless and yet not only are they back together, but recording new music. So I found it to be a very exciting moment, even if I ended up not liking the song.
And do I like the song? I'd be lying if I said I didn't. Does it sound great? I don't think so. But I don't really care, because as I said before I never listened to blink-182 for any Bono-like Humanitarian rants (funnily enough, the spacey, U2 guitar sounds is what turned me off from Angels and Airwaves). It's a far cry from what the band is best known for, but it's actually a very logical next step for the band all things considered.
If you haven't listened to it, here a brief description with my personal thoughts. Keep in mind I'm slightly biased. It starts off with a heavier-than-usual (for blink-182) riff that is very reminiscent of Boxcar Racer (particularly the Instrumental track at the end of the album). When I first heard the opening, I got excited because I absolutely adore the Boxcar Racer album. Then the verse came in and it mellowed out a bit. Naturally, since Tom has been singing in Angels and Airwaves for the past five years, I heard a bit of AVA vocals, but I tried not to think much of them. Tom and Mark trade off, so it's not quite AVA and still unquestionably a blink-182 song. But when the pre-chorus/chorus kicks in, Tom's voice gains a whole new level of reverb to the point of where it sounds like you're listening to the first AVA album again. But I think that's to be expected- like I said, he's been fronting that band for the past five years so of course it's going to have an affect on his singing. I'm not saying that's why people should like it, but I am saying that there's a good reason why it sounds that way.
Whether or not people think it's a good song is entirely up to them, for their own reasons. However, I do think that last night's premiere was a lot more significant for today's pop music scene than people are willing to give it credit for. I don't think blink-182 are the saviors of rock and roll but I do know that to discredit them and say they won't important somewhere down the line is just internet flaming at best. Maybe I'm wrong. In 40 years or so if they aren't remembered by anyone at all, I'll admit my lack of judgement concerning the issue.