November 16, 2000

Attack of the Infantile

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Blink 182, one of the late ’90s most popular groups, also turns out to be one of the world’s most obnoxious groups on their new live album, The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show.

Blink 182, formed in 1991 in California. The founding members were Mark Hoppus (bass, vocals), Tom Delonge (guitar, vocals), and Scott Raynor (drums). After a mediocre first album, Blink 182 released their sophomore effort Dude Ranch in 1996, and in 1997 the song “Dammit,” brought the band loads of radio play in the U.S.

In 1999 Raytnor left the band, and was replaced by former Aquabats drummer Travis Barker. Their release that same year of Enema of the State, solidified their status as a punk band.

The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show attempts to capture the band’s famous live act. Their lyrical motifs and stage antics, which generally include requests for female fans to bare their breasts, have given the band lots of publicity, but also lots of accusations of misogyny.

The vocals on the album are impressive, despite not having good lyrics. There is lots of harmony on the album, and interesting transitions.

The drums and guitars are lightening fast, with some really great rhythms. They deserve credit for great skill on their instruments live, without studio technicians to make them sound good.

Their most popular songs are the best on the album. The audience response surely helps the band, and adds that extra oomph to “Dammit,” “What’s My Age Again,” and “All the Small Things.”

While the songs themselves are good, anything that the group members say in between songs is completely annoying. In the beginning of the album, they proclaim “You know what we’re gonna do tonight? We’re gonna get laid!” While this is kind of a funny thing to say, it gets more obnoxious when you realize that it’s true.

The group themselves know just how obnoxious they are, and they say on the album that that’s what they get paid to do — geez, it sucks for the rest of us who have to act like somewhat normal human beings to get paid.

Yet another thing to contend with on a live album is fans. On this album, we’re talking about thousands of screaming fourteen year olds in between each and every song. But if you can tolerate the obnoxious talking and the screaming fans, then you’re a lucky person. The songs on the album make it worth hearing.

Big fans of the group will enjoy hearing some new songs, and not so big fans will enjoy the popular songs, and maybe learn a few more. The songs are fast-paced, energetic, and fun to listen to.

And like most rock bands, you need to have a slow song on the album. Blink makes sure to come through with a good power ballad (not the ’80s kind) with “Adam’s Song.” This tune about depression in the late teenage years is a story that we can all relate to. This song is a nice break from the really fast beats that characterize the rest of the album. If only they could just not talk in between the songs.

Archived article by Merri Coleman