Amanda Petrusich writes about Blink-182’s nostalgic resurgence:
The grievances and pleasures Blink-182’s songs express—the dumbness of adults, how weird sex is, how cool jokes are, how lonesome life can be—are the kinds of things that get worried over most loudly from ages twelve to eighteen. It’s tempting to think that our emotions become more complex and multitudinous when we grow up. But most of us continue following those same early tracks, the ones we gouged in adolescence; the whole spectrum of human experience, all that longing and self-doubt, is perfectly sketched out in those formative years. That’s where pop-punk lives. Its rawness lies not in the music but in the heady newness of those feelings.
This is, I think, at least partially why the band has endured. But I also wonder if we’re clinging to the sound—protecting it—as we would an endangered species. In 2016, a record like “Enema of the State” hits like a shot of oxygen. It’s revitalizing—and comforting, somehow—to revisit the sort of playful, featherbrained temperament made possible only by a decade in which prosperity and safety seemed nearly guaranteed. Most of the kids hollering along to the band’s discography at shows today never even knew a pre-9/11 world. I sometimes wonder, though, if the air has gotten too toxic for Blink-182’s brand of ribald goofiness.
As Petrusich alludes to, it’s actually today’s atmosphere of perpetual toxicity that makes Blink-182 necessary. For adults who grew up listening to the band, it’s a harkening back to the carefree times the music embodies. For the kids newly acquainted to Blink-182, it’s a reminder that it’s OK to do the stupid things kids do.
Just watch their latest music video for the single “Bored to Death.” It features a high-school kid living the punk adolescence that Blink-182 has always promoted. Intermittent shots of the band playing in a dive bar almost feels like reassurance from the adults who once lived that life themselves: go be young, and enjoy it.