Words by Sam Townsend
Iconic American pop-punksters blink-182, the soundtrack to countless youthful adventures, have made a triumphant return with their highly anticipated ninth studio album ‘One More Time’. For fans who’ve been following the band’s rollercoaster journey over the years, there’s a special reason to celebrate. With ‘One More Time’ the unmistakable voice of Tom DeLonge has returned to the lineup, rekindling a sense of nostalgia and anticipation that’s difficult to put into words. In an era where pop-punk is thriving, and the genre’s influence can be heard in the music of countless artists, blink-182‘s legacy still looms large. Their impact on the scene is undeniable, and they continue to attract new generations of fans while captivating the loyalty of their long-standing devotees.
‘One More Time’ opens with Anthem Part 3 – a fitting addition to blink-182’s musical journey, seamlessly picking up where its predecessors left off and continuing the band’s tradition of crafting anthemic tracks which resonate with fans. Anthem Part 3 instantly hearkens back to the punk-rock fervour of their earlier days, effectively drawing upon the fondness of their seminal sound. DeLonge‘s vocals are as crisp and punk-rock as ever, reminiscent of their ‘Dude Ranch’ and ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket’ era, evoking the unbridled enthusiasm of youth. Travis Barker‘s madcap drumming fills provide a sense of urgency, grounding the listener firmly in the band’s signature sound. As the chorus kicks in, Mark Hoppus‘s soothing vocals harmonise perfectly with DeLonge‘s, making this track an anthemic and powerful opener. This approach not only offers a sense of wistfulness but also showcases the band’s growth and evolution in their music.
A former demo from DeLonge’s Box Car Racer side project, Terrified brings soaring guitar riffs and a mature musical direction reminiscent of blink-182‘s ‘Neighborhoods.’ The songwriting, too, harks back to the depth and introspection blink-182 began exploring during that era. While remaining grounded in their signature pop-punk-rock roots, Terrified showcases the band’s ability to blend elements from their previous projects seamlessly and offers a welcomed change of pace for new fans.
What can I say about title track One More Time which hasn’t already been said? Released on 21 September 2023, One More Time is nothing short of a powerhouse and encapsulates the essence of the band’s journey over the years. The raw and deeply heartfelt lyrics touch upon the band’s tumultuous history, drawing inspiration from the infamous 2005 hiatus and the subsequent changes that followed. As a deeply introspective piece, One More Time holds nothing back. The chorus is an emotional gut punch, capturing the sentiment of longing and the desire to mend what’s broken. The shivers I get everytime I hear DeLonge and Hoppus harmonise.
“I miss you, took time, but I admit it
It still hurts even after all these years
And I know that next time ain’t always gonna happen
I gotta say, “I love you” while we’re here”
What makes this track even more poignant is the inclusion of drummer Travis Barker‘s vocals, a rare occurrence in blink-182‘s discography. This delivers a powerhouse performance which resonates with the listener on a profound level. One More Time serves as a testament to the band’s renewed friendship and a declaration they are back to reclaim their place in the music world, solidifying its status as one of the album’s most memorable and touching tracks.
Switching things up as only blink-182 can, Turn This Off! is a lightning-fast track burst of classic blink-182 energy. With unrelenting speed being the focus of this gem, it comes to a climax before you can even comprehend what you’ve just heard. A playful and quirky nod to their earlier work, reminiscent of Happy Holidays, You Bastard, from the iconic, ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket,’ in a matter of seconds blink-182 reminds you of their fun and irreverent side – a hallmark of their ability to blend humour and high-speed punk rock.
Released just over a year ago, Edging is the song that marked the initial return of blink-182, laying the groundwork for the excitement surrounding ‘One More Time.’ Edging serves as the lively and spirited return of the band, reminiscent of their earlier pop-punk anthems. And whilst Edging may not be the most lyrically complex track, its appeal lies in its catchy and infectious melody and the distinctive vocal interplay between Hoppus and DeLonge. In contrast, You Don’t Know What You’ve Got takes a more introspective turn. This heartfelt ballad carries a sense of longing and yearning, emphasising the growth and depth of the band’s songwriting over the years. Together, these two songs showcase blink-182‘s ability to beautifully balance the fun and the profound aspects of their music – a theme running throughout ‘One More Time.’
And then we arrive at Blink Wave – an infectiously catchy departure from blink-182’s signature style which instead embraces the distinctive sound of the 80’s synth-wave genre. Blink Wave carries an infectious, catchy quality that’s hard to resist. With Hoppus guiding listeners through a musical time warp, the song successfully transports them to an era not typically associated with the band. DeLonge‘s involvement in the chorus adds depth and charm, merging his characteristic punk-rock roots with the melancholic synth-wave vibes. The result is a tune which is not only immensely enjoyable but also showcases the band’s versatility and willingness to experiment. Blink Wave embodies a modern twist on a classic sound, making it a track sure to have fans whistling along and grooving to its irresistible rhythm.
Personally though, the standout track on ‘One More Time’ is undoubtedly Turpentine. A resounding testament to blink-182‘s musical versatility, combining elements of the past with a fresh, modern twist, Turpentine creates a unique and captivating sonic experience. While DeLonge’s distinctive vocal twang instantly resonates with the listener, the song’s background synth elements also contribute a touch of magic, blending harmoniously with the rock and punk elements. Hoppus joins in during the third act, delivering his signature elongated word delivery fans know and love from his +44 days. Turpentine is a testament to blink-182‘s creative prowess, and it stands as one of the standout tracks on the album. This masterpiece is a testament to blink-182’s creative prowess, showcasing the band’s ability to stay true to their signature sound in 2023.
Closing track, Childhood, serves as a poignant reflection on the passage of time and the loss of innocence. Hoppus delivers the verses with a sense of fondness and longing, recounting the carefree days of youth and how they’ve faded away. DeLonge joins in the pre-chorus, expressing a sense of disconnection and questioning the world in 2023. The chorus unites their voices in a bittersweet recollection of the past, invoking the universal experience of growing up and the longing to recapture that youthful spirit. The refrain, “Where did our childhood go? I wanna know,” encapsulates the track’s theme of yearning for the simplicity and wonder of youth, making it a fitting and contemplative conclusion to ‘One More Time.’
blink-182’s ‘One More Time‘ is more than just an album; it’s a triumphant comeback and a reunion of the band’s classic lineup. This record effortlessly blends elements from their past and present, creating a cohesive journey which takes you from vintage punk rock anthems to experimental synth-infused tracks. With lyrics delving into personal experiences, internal issues, and the passage of time, ‘One More Time‘ offers a deep and relatable listening experience. ‘One More Time‘ is indeed a mixed bag of nostalgia and innovation, offering something for both longtime fans and newcomers. For a band with a 31-year legacy, this album reaffirms their enduring relevance in the ever-evolving world of pop-punk and rock.
‘One More Time‘ not only lives up to the high expectations surrounding blink-182‘s reunion but also pushes the boundaries of their signature sound, reminding us why they are the godfathers of pop-punk. It’s an album which resonates with the band’s past, captures their present, and hints at a promising future, leaving listeners with a smile on their faces and a newfound appreciation for this pioneering trio.
Fans can catch blink-182 on their massive 2024 Australian tour with Rise Against in support.
Thursday, 8 February – RAC Arena, Perth
Friday, 9 February – RAC Arena, Perth
Sunday, 11 February – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Tuesday, 13 February – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Wednesday, 14 February – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Friday, 16 February – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Saturday, 17 February – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Monday, 19 February – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
Tuesday, 20 February – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
Wednesday, 21 February – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
Friday, 23 February – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Saturday, 24 February – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Monday, 26 February – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Tuesday, 27 February – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Thursday, 29 February – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Thanks to Sony Music Australia