Dogs Eating Dogs: Blink-182 Bites Back!

This year, Christmas came early to pop-punk fans! Last week, Blink-182 released their splendid new 5-song EP, Dogs Eating Dogs. Having recently left their label Interscope, Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker decided it was time to step out on their own. With Dogs Eating Dogs, they have definitely come out swinging. Unlike last year’s Neighborhoods, the band chose to actually all work together in the same studio instead of emailing tracks back and forth from different locations. Neighborhoods was by no means a bad record, but with this new EP there is definitely a feeling that the band has its mojo back. Dogs Eating Dogs is lean and mean and more cohesive than its predecessor. The boys didn’t mess around. In fact, Blink only started recording the EP on November 5, 2012 and BOOM! Here it is! Merry Christmas! On the whole, the most remarkable thing about this new collection is that Blink has magically found a way to create something that sounds very current without losing that crunchy pop spirit that made songs like “All The Small Things” and “Feeling This” great.

The opening track “When I Was Young” opens with slow distorted drum beats and an organ intro a la the All American Rejects “Swing Swing”, before switching into full-on Blink-mode with Barker’s rapid-fire gunshot drumming and DeLonge’s nasal vocal delivery and palm-muted guitar. The chorus opens up in classic Blink style with Hoppus providing his trademark call and response backing vocals and harmonies. Neither DeLonge or Hoppus has a traditionally great voice, but as singers both have a distinctiveness and attitude that is unique and immediately identifiable as Blink-182 when the two are put together. Next, the energy goes up a notch with the title track. The song really drives with Barker’s masterful snare work and Hoppus singing lead on the verses and pre-choruses before trading off the choruses with DeLonge. The next song, “Disaster”, could comfortably appear on one of DeLonge’s Angels and Airwaves’ albums. It is a little slower and the guitar has more of a U2 vibe. Lyrically, it is mildly cheesy for example: “What do you fear my love? Your soul it will float like a dove.” It is by no means a bad song, just not as strong as the other four. However, the next track, “Boxing Day” is one of those special Blink jems that goes in the file with tracks like “I Miss You”. It is an acoustic song that is both pretty and bittersweet, dealing with being dumped the day after Christmas. It is folky, poppy and catchy with DeLonge singing the verses and Hoppus singing the chorus hook of: “You left me on the day after Christmas.” The closer “Pretty Little Girl” is a really enjoyable track complete with electronic keyboard loops and a full on pop-punk chorus that is built to make you dance. There is even a guest appearance by rapper Yelawolf. This may cause some people to scratch their heads, but it works.

Check it out! Dogs Eating Dogs is a lot of fun. Longtime fans should be pleased. Blink-182 sounds truly renewed as if they are flexing their muscles to get ready to deliver something truly special.

Essential Tracks: “When I Was Young” and “Boxing Day”

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