Album Review: Blink 182 – Enema Of The State
Think of the year 1999, probably best known as the year when people discovered glow sticks and night clubs. But more importantly do you remember three guys named Tom, Mark and Travis running around in a music video with nothing on? The three piece who formed in Poway, California started out in 1992 and go by the name of Blink-182. Enema Of The State is the third studio album by Blink-182 which propelled them to success even more after its predecessor 1997’s Dude Ranch.
Enema Of The State begins with Dumpweed which is where we hear Delonge’s fast guitar riff and Barker’s immense drumming. This track highlights the improvements that Blink-182 made since Dude Ranch because of how clear the songs sound due to the production of the tracks. Bassist Mark Hoppus once did an acoustic version of Don’t Leave Me and joked that teenagers came up to him all the time saying that when they bought a new guitar they learnt this track in the space of five minutes. The track has an excellent bridge where we’re able to hear Mark Hoppus’ bass line. The great thing about Hoppus is that he tries to keep the bass very significant in all Blink tracks which is fantastic because he shows that the bass guitar is not there just for keeping time.
Aliens Exist is based on Tom Delonge’s beliefs in UFO’s and aliens as lyrics suggest “What if people knew that these were real/I’d leave my closet door open all night/I know the CIA would say/What you hear is all hearsay/I wish someone would tell me what was right.” Remember the question I asked in the opening paragraph about three guys running around in a music video completely naked? Well the song to that music video is one of Blink’s greatest hits, What’s My Age Again? This is where we see some technical guitar playing from Tom Delonge. The track is upbeat and has a catchy chorus with Mark Hoppus questioning himself about how old he is.
Adam’s Song is one of the darker songs in Blink’s repertoire as it deals with the daunting topic of suicide. Adam’s Song references Nirvana’s Come As You Are with Nirvana’s lyrics stating “Take your time, hurry up, the choice is yours, don’t be late” and Blink’s “I took my time, I hurried up, The choice was mine, I didn’t think enough.” All The Small Things is probably the most recognised song from Blink’s back catalogue as the chorus should resonate with every single 90s teenager “Say it ain’t so I will not go/Turn the lights off/Carry me home/Na, na, na, na/Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na.” The simplicity of the chorus proves how bands like Blink-182 never had to be technically accomplished in order to hit the big time. Hits like All The Small Things show you why Blink-182 are one of the best bands out there.
The Party Song is about Hoppus talking about going to party which didn’t meet his expectations as lyrics suggest “This place is so lame all these girls look the same/All these guys have no game I wish I would have stayed/In my bed back at home watching TV alone.” There is more but I probably shouldn’t say it here! The toilet humour that Hoppus puts across is so spot on because every teenager thinks parties are the pinnacle of their lives but more often than not they are an anti-climax. Mutt is where we’re able to hear Hoppus’ brilliant bass line which sticks out in this track like a sore thumb; once again Mark Hoppus proves that the bass guitar isn’t a boring instrument. Anthem is the first part of the “Anthems” as on Take Off Your Pants & Jacket the opening song is Anthem Part 2. The song is based on having a party while your parents are away – “White lies, bloodshot eyes/Breath of alcohol, stole it from the mall/How’s Chris marked with lipstick.”
Best remembered for it’s raunchy cover of Janine Lindemulder dressed as a nurse, Enema of the State would make the teenagers drop their glow sticks and reminisce about their youth, from throwing parties to questioning their age. This is what caused Blink’s music to stand out from the crowd in the 90s because of how well their albums embodied the nostalgia about your teenage years. By doing this and accompanying it with hilarious humour, it’s understandable why their comeback in 2009 was so important because for four years the music industry had lost one of its greatest talents.