Blink 182

Dogs Eating Dogs EP

Written by: PP on 20/01/2013 22:57:33

So I have some good news and some bad news about the new Blink 182 EP "Dogs Eating Dogs". You'll get those soon. First of all, it's weird seeing Blink 182 releasing an EP, since the last time they did that was in 1995. It's even stranger to note that it was released so close to Christmas that most people probably didn't even notice it, and that they self-released the album instead of signing with a new major label. Lots of things going on in the Blink camp it seems. Anyway. The good news is that it's much better than the lackluster "Neighborhoods"; it corrects most of the mistakes that were made during the writing and recording process of that album to sufficient satisfaction. The bad news is that it still sounds like the Angels And Airwaves spaceship is desperately wanting to leave planet earth while taking Blink 182 with it.

To be fair, that's being a little harsh on the band. It's unrealistic to expect them to return to the fast paced college pop punk of the old days anymore. But at the same time, the key issue with "Neighborhoods" wasn't that it didn't sound like old Blink 182 (although that was a part of it, sure), but that its songs felt incongruent. Travis & Mark wrote and recorded their parts in separation from Tom DeLonge, and consequently the record felt like it had been cut-and-pasted together with ideas that didn't really fit together properly. They learned their lesson, and the songs on "Dogs Eating Dogs" are therefore better structured, and more uniform in their nature. It's no longer obvious that this is a Tom song and that one is a Travis & Mark song.

Instead, it sounds like the two parties agreed to meet in the middle. It's more uplifting and more spacy than Blink 182 as you remember it, but it's simultaneously coming closer to the sound of the self-titled album from 2003, and I guess, also towards the sound of +44. This has the following effect: the songwriting is better because it makes more sense. The title track, and "Disaster" are both awesome songs, even if they echo around in ways that wouldn't have felt natural on a Blink release a decade ago. But instead of meaningless space, it now feels like there's some actual depth behind all that lofty atmosphere backing Tom's vocals. That's a major improvement. They are also fairly catchy songs.

That being said, a song like "Boxing Day" should just never be written by Blink 182. It's a boring acoustic ballad that goes absolutely nowhere. The piano backed acoustic guitar is cringeworthy, and I tend to skip it on each listen (the same goes with "Pretty Little Girl". Boring.). So it's not only good news on the album. Also, it's still going to piss off the predictable bunch who just don't like this new direction at all (this scribe included). But from an objective viewpoint, the EP follows the same formula as "Neighborhoods" did, which is to say it mixes together influence from both +44 and Angels & Airwaves into a new sound, but it is now considerably closer to their self-titled album's sound than before. So you could argue, they've improved on their formula, at least marginally.


Download: Dogs Eating Dogs, When I Was Young
For the fans of: +44, Angels And Airwaves
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.12.2012

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