Within the modern punk community, there are few bands whose legacy has transcended decades of content and generations of listeners: Green Day, Fallout Boy, My Chemical Romance, etc. With their 30-plus year career, 22 music awards and 50 million records sold world-wide, Blink-182 is among the most prominent members of this elite group. Known for hits like “All the Small Things,” “Dammit (Growing Up)” and “First Date,” almost anyone in Gen-Z who grew up listening to the radio has been exposed to this band at least once, and many of us have become life-long fans.
The group was started by current lead singer/guitarist Tom Delonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor in a San Diego Suburb in 1992. Originally called Blink, the band started off on the usual punk D.I.Y. path, recording their first demo tape “Flyswatter” on a borrowed four-track in Raynor’s bedroom in 1993. The band’s first studio album “Cheshire Cat” was released in 1995 under boutique label Cargo Records; however they did not become the force the music industry knows today until 1999 after the release of their third album “Enema of the State.” It was during the writing of this album that the band would take its current form, with Travis Barker replacing Raynor behind the kit.
Following “Enema of the State,” which to this day remains one of the most iconic albums in history, the band set off on a one-way course for international stardom, amassing a ginormous fanbase and playing shows on six continents. However, celebrity is a difficult thing, and it has been a rocky road for the trio, which went on hiatus from 2005-2009 and later re-appeared with the Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba in place of founding member Tom Delonge from 2015-2021. The band released “California” and “Nine” before Delonge’s eventual return in 2022.
“One More Time” which was released on Friday, is the first album Delonge, Hoppus and Barker have made together in over a decade. It came on the heels of the bassist’s stage-4 lymphoma diagnosis. It has 17 tracks and 5 singles and is one of the most listenable albums I have ever heard. The mark of a great album is the ability to listen to the whole thing from start to finish without having to skip a song. In listening to this album, no track ever grew monotonous; there was a perfect balance between the fast-paced punk anthems and ballads the band is known for. Likewise, on tracks like “Dance with Me,” they take on that early punk edge which hasn’t as frequently been associated with their music.
Another standout of this album is Barker’s drumming. In recent years the drummer has seemed to have a hand in everything, from Post Malone’s covid-era Nirvana tribute concert to Machine Gun Kelly’s “Tickets to My Downfall,” and this experience is reflected on the tracks he lays down in songs like the album’s namesake.
“One More Time” will go down as the band’s best project since 2001’s “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.” It is a diverse album, containing a number of entertaining and bump-worthy tracks. And most of all, it has historical and emotional significance for any fan who has followed the group’s journey.