blink-182 - Dogs Eating Dogs (2012)

blink-182, where do I begin? I’m going to be super cliche and say I grew up on these guys. I’ve loved all the side projects and loved Neighborhoods. I’ll be honest though, when Neighborhoods first came out, I didn’t care for it much. I found the more I listened to it, the more it felt like the new blink record. When I heard they were going to be releasing a new EP on December 18th, I was very eager to see where the band would be headed next.

Dogs Eating Dogs opens with “When I Was Young”. Starting off with the synth and piano that was made familiar through Angels and Airwaves, I thought this song was going to be a slower/darker song. Soon after the thought crossed my mind, Travis’ drums came rolling in, fast and aggressive. Soon after, Tom’s signature vocals followed and already I found myself enjoying these vocals a lot more than the ones present on Neighborhoods. I couldn’t help but notice that to me, Tom’s vocals are starting to show little signs of his old style. The way Mark and Tom go back and forth in the chorus prove that blink-182 is back and stronger than ever. One song in and I feel like this is where this band should be. Following “When I Was Young” is the title track, “Dogs Eating Dogs”. I was surprised how quickly you are thrown into this faster symphony of punk rock. Mark takes over the verses on this song, while Tom is on chorus duties. The verses in this song are very self-titled reminiscent. Overall, at this point, the EP is feeling extremely balanced and extremely fresh in sound.

Track three is “Disaster”, my personal favorite from Dogs Eating Dogs. I feel like this is the best song this band has written since reforming after their hiatus. Everyone is of course already saying this song sounds way too much like Angels and Airwaves in the beginning. What most people don’t know is that blink-182 was already going in this direction before AvA was formed. Most of the first Angels record was written as blink-182 material. What I like to tell people is listen to new blink as being new blink. Imagine all this material came out 2-4 years after the self-titled album. Not one blink fan would be against this sound. This darker/spacey style was even subtly hinted in songs like “Asthenia” and “I’m Lost Without You”. Anyway, back to “Disaster”. This is such an incredibly well-written song. The way the intro builds up, the way the vocals are constantly going back and forth, it all just works extremely well for blink-182. Following “Disaster” is the Christmas song entitled “Boxing Day”. A while back Tom hinted that there would be a Box Car Racer influence on this new EP, I believe this is the track that was influenced by that project. The vocal melodies in this song are extremely catchy. Mark sounds super comfortable in this chorus, and Tom’s voice was meant for the verses. It’s basically everything a blink-182 Christmas song should be.

The last song is “Pretty Little Girl”, the way the band plays off each others instrumentals in this song is so awesome. Everything just blends so well. I believe this song is a huge example as to how natural blink-182 can sound when recording in the same studio together. Some things on Neighborhoods sounded forced, but every song on this EP sounds very natural. “Pretty Little Girl” is a roller coaster of a song, not to mention there’s a little part with Yelawolf, something completely new for blink-182. I honestly am not a huge fan of rap, especially today’s artists. Surprisingly, Yelawolf’s part works extremely well and the lyrics actually mean something. I was impressed with how well this little guest spot fit in the song.

Overall I feel like Dogs Eating Dogs is the best representation of the current blink-182. Don’t get me wrong, Neighborhoods made for a good comeback album, but this EP just flows a lot better and feels like they put an equal amount of work into it, rather than it feeling like it was all recorded on their own separate time. Of course there’s going to be those people who are constantly whining and stating, “Wah, this sounds just like Angels and Airwaves. This isn’t blink, this could be on a +44 record, waaaah.” At the end of the day, this is what blink-182 would have sounded like if this material would have been released directly after the self-titled. I believe this is some of the best material this band has ever produced. Go into this EP with what I stated above in mind, forget about the side projects for once, listen to this blink-182 release as being a blink-182 release and not some combination of other projects. blink-182 is back.

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By Zack Lloyd ~ Me Gusta Reviews



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