Future Idiots

Neighborhoods & Morningwoods

Written by: PP on 03/11/2012 18:52:29

"Neighborhoods" wasn't as bad as I had initially feared, but it was a long shot from the rest of the Blink 182 material minus maybe the self-titled album, which I didn't find all that good either. After a difficult split between the band members, it was obvious that Tom's ultra ambitious Angels & Airwaves project was going to have a negative influence on the cheerful pop punk anthems that Blink have always been known for, and as such "Neighborhoods" was a schizophrenic album with some songs leaning towards +44 style pop punk and others featuring the echoing soundscapes of Angels & Airwaves as a compromise between the two very different creative differences of the two camps. While decent, it lacked the youthful spirit and stadium ready sing alongs of the band's mainstream pop punk past, and most of all, it wasn't the album everyone wanted Blink 182 to release as a result of their reunion.

Here's where Future Idiots from Hässleholm, Sweden step in.

They basically thought along those lines and, inspired by the excellent "Up All Night" cover by YouTube user keezykabeezy, decided to take "Neighborwoods" and re-record it to make it sound like Blink 182 of the good old days.

The result? Blink 182 hadn't sounded this much like Blink 182 since "Take Off Your Pants And Jacket". Aside from one or two duds - most notably "Ghosts On The Dancefloor" - the songs are faster, catchier and better in pretty much every aspect imaginable. All ambitious A&A soundscapes have been replaced by a feet-to-the-ground approach to fast punk rock and pop punk, with songs like "Snake Charmer" mimicking classic Blink 182 sound so closely that it's hard to believe this isn't actually some elaborate prank by Tom DeLonge & co. Honestly, listening to the melodically ringing riffs of "Wishing Well" is one of those back-chilling moments when you realize just how great old Blink 182 material was and just how terrible "Neighborhoods"-era Blink 182 is in comparison. They've even got the alternating Tom/Mark vocals just right. The vocal melodies, the instrumentals, everything is spot on from "Enema Of The State" / "Take Off Your Pants & Jacket" era. I don't think Blink 182 in 2012 could've made it sound this much like Blink 182 even if they tried.

It's simply perfection, if you're a Blink 182 fan longing for the old days. It's everything you ever wanted Blink 182 to release, which they didn't. It's the long-lost follow-up album to "Take Off..." that Blink 182 should've recorded instead of self-titled, and certainly instead of "Neighborhoods". This, my friends, is how "Neighborhoods" should've sounded like. It's simply better by a wide, wide margin than the original. I hope Tom, Mark & Travis take a listen to this - even if it's just songs like "Kaleidoscope" or "Up All Night (Version 1)" and realize what they could've written instead, because had they released this, Blink 182 would again be one of the biggest bands on the planet right now. I don' know how anyone can possibly argue against this release in favour of the original. It could've been an instant classic, as Future Idiots so cleverly point out with this version of the album.


Download: Natives, Wishing Well, Snake Charmer
For the fans of: old Blink 182
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.10.2012
Pacific Ridge Records

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