Blink 182 took nearly five years to record and release California. Less than a year later a ‘deluxe’ version was released including some of the songs normally left on the cutting room floor – if such a thing exists these days.
By John Hayhurst
There is certainly enough for the hardcore fan to fork out the extra cash for, as well as for the occasional fan to get interested in. Essentially though, most people will know what the band are about, and this edition does become a bit repetitive in some areas.
Firstly, this is further proof that the band can clearly cope with the departure of Tom DeLonge, as Matt Skiba is brought more to the fore. Classic opener Parking Lot also gives Travis Barker some kind of adrenaline rush, as those drums appear to be on steroids from the off. The “Na Na Na’s” are out in force, and the eagerly anticipated swear words are there for all teens and slightly older teens to sing with their middle finger raised in the air, and smiles on their rebellious cherub faces.
Misery and Good Old Days are slightly too similar, and you can tell why they became b-sides. They’re up tempo enough perhaps but have the same tempo and a similar chord chorus structure, which is off-putting when considering the full price of the album.
Don’t Mean Anything is very good, and is almost tender in an apologetic way to parents everywhere whilst their recalcitrant youths are admonished. Hey I’m Sorry continues the apologies, but these two tracks feel a little more mature than the norm, suggesting an organic growth. Last Train Home continues in that vein and is almost Linkin Park-like, with its talky vocals and darker lyrics.
Wildfire is a Biffy Clyroesque build up tune with lots of harmonies and epic power chords, and 6/8 is equally a more adult and different sounding track than the tracks from the Enema Of The State era. Perhaps they could have released a full double album with some of these tracks interspersed alongside the originals, as some of these extra songs are very good.
Ultimately, this is a load of forty something males that admirably refuse to grow up, and still act like they are in a college timewarp singing about girls, cars and break ups. The trademark “Na Na Na-Na’s” are all there, the 30 second short track is included, and whilst California is not quite as good as Enema Of The State was, it certainly benefits from the extra tracks. For those wanting more of the same, you’ve got it and more.