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”