Saturday, December 22, 2012

I Won't Be Home for Christmas: Blink-182 - "Dogs Eating Dogs EP" (self-released)

Blink-182 were my [first] favourite band through most of middle school and high school. while I own nearly all of their 8-10 CD's and rare pressings, the "Blink-182" section on my iPod is fairly short and sweet, cause their music's just engrained in my head! Take Off Your Pants & Jacket is HANDS DOWN one of my all time favourite albums, Cheshire Cat/Dude Ranch are late 90's Hardcore classics, and The Enema Strikes Back is quite arguably the best recorded live album since KISS ALIVE! (1975). Mark, Tom & Travis turned me onto great bands like Black Flag, Rancid, Misfits, Fugazi, Fall Out Boy, and Motion City Soundtrack through their well-written liner notes and interviews. I can vividly remember talking about Blink-182 (Untitled) during Gym class either junior or senior year; Like most of Blink's albums and side projects, it was released right on the cusp of spring/summer. It was a "perfectly progressive" Punk Rock album, written by 3 musicians-friends in their mid-30's and man, I was fucking pissed when Blink-182 decided to take an "indefinite hiatus" [break-up] in 2005. Granted, I got a chance to see (+44), meet Mark Hoppus & Travis Barker, and even saw Tom DeLonge's shitty Arena Rock band, Angels & Airwaves.

Fast-forward roughly 5 years: I was pretty damn STOKED when Blink-182 reunited during the 2009 Grammys after Barker's nearly fatal plane crash. While I was pretty hammered @ the first one, my buddies/cousins and I saw Blink twice on their 20009-11 reunion tour(s). But the band's latest full length album, Neighborhoods, was a sloppy mess that I saw the effort behind, but just couldn't really get into. Dogs Eating Dogs EP is Blink-182's first independent release since parting ways with long-time label, Interscope back in October. Hoppus, DeLonge & Barker self-produced it's 5 tracks, partly because producer-friend Jerry Finn passed away in 2008 right before the band re-formed. Mark, Tom & Travis recorded Dogs Eating Dogs together in one studio between Thanksgiving and early December and honestly, it's the comeback album [EP] that Neighborhoods should've been ... In a couple pre-release interviews, Blink described the overall sound of Dogs Eating Dogs as "Folky," Electronic, Punk Rock, aggressive guitars, slightly Hip-Hop, and "100x better than Neighborhoods!" In a recent interview with Billboard, Tom DeLonge alluded to the fact that it just might be the first in a string of "ambitious, artistic" EP's and they that may/may not ever put our another record, in the typical sense. There are glimpses of Blink-182's various side projects strewn across these 5 EP tracks: Box Car Racer, (+44), Transplants, AVA, etc. But the most interesting track here is probably "Pretty Little Girl" [above], which features a verse from Travis Barker's friend and recent Psycho White collaborator, Yelawolf. Supplies are dwindling, but Dogs Eating Dogs EP is now available over @ in 3 assorted packages, ranging from $5-100 and include everything from T-shirts to a signed lithograph.

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