Remember when baggy pants were cool? Remember when you listened to Pop Punk bands on repeat? Cellphones were used for playing snake, doing a backflip on a motocross bike was impossible and Friends was still on television. At this amazing time, when rebellious creativity was just beginning to take off, there were three major-label punk bands that filled our 3-CD Hi-fi and kept garage bands busy: Blink 182, Sum 41 and Green Day. I must have read the CD case inserts a thousand times.
Most of us are now busy with work and avoiding in-laws, so we don’t keep track of old-school pop punk bands, so what are these dudes doing now?
Sum 41: These dudes had a bit of an up-down over the last few years. Derek Whibley the front man of this band of merry men, got seduced by an evil Gorgon named Avril Lavigne. She is pure evil, as evident by how her songs get stuck in your head. I tried to Google this phenomenon, the only result was “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?” Anyway, she ate his soul and replaced it with a wet carrot. Over the next few years, the dude went through hell.
Okay, maybe it was severe organ failure due to alcohol abuse but I still blame Avril (aka “the bitch”). The dude got all kinds of fucked up. He had to re-learn guitar, re-bleach his hair, crazy stuff.
In October 2016, Sum 41 released a new album called “13 Voices”, with a new drummer Frank Zummo, who worked in Dead by Sunrise with the late Chester Bennington, and this drummer dude has some epic chops. Great beats for the gym and for the car. One of the best additions in the new album is the return of Dave Baksh (Brownsound) on lead guitar and backing vocals after he left the band in 2006. Love this guy, such great talent. I would kiss him so hard. #Nohomo
My favourite new tune Sum 41 tune is “Goddamn I’m Dead Again” (which is direct nod to “Hotel California” by The Eagles)
Green Day: I was genuinely surprised to find out these dudes formed the year I was born, and I can’t believe these guys have been keeping such a strong pace and, by all appearances, seem to be actual friends with each other. Like, the same way that I’m friends with the Wi-fi when it’s working.
Can you imagine knowing someone since 1988, spending months in an ass gas filled tour bus and still liking each other? Seriously? I’ve known myself that long and I’m pretty sure I’m a secret Avril Lavigne fan. I’m not sure. I think I would know if I talk to myself more often. What?
Their latest release, Revolution Radio, is filled with some great sing-a-long songs, and hearing these in a stadium would be wicked awesome. A few are a little over-produced but Tre Cool’s driving drum work pushes it through. The musicality is not overly complex, and the songs are definitely catchy, not death-by-self-imposed-repetition-Avril-take-my-soul catchy, but definitely worth a listen. Bass tone on “Too Dumb to Die” is amazing and fat, like your mom, but in a sexy way.
My favourite new Green Day tune is definitely “Bang Bang”. It’s a solid single and I suggest playing it at every braai.
Blink 182: Blink have gone through some tough times, with Tom Delonge being a bit of a poes and everything, but now that they’ve got Matt Skiba, from Alkaline Trio, they’ve been producing more songs than they can release. California was released in July 2016 and then the dudes released a deluxe edition with 11 new tracks and a live-recording of “Bored to Death”.
The deluxe edition is genuinely good, so much so that Travis Barker told producer John Feldmann, “We got a problem…the deluxe album might even be better than California.”
A few Blink 182 fans have said that Matt Skiba’s vocal range is too similar to Mark’s. The benefit of this though, is that chorus lines and hooks are much thicker and fuller (like yo mama). Despite the similarities, I’ve noticed that, Mark’s voice is a lot more controlled and limited in its range but Matt’s is more chaotic.
Blink’s song-writing is stemmed in arguments and chaos, some of their older work kept this air of conflict and it’s amazing, there were times when it was crap, but we don’t place blame or mention it because it was Delonge time ago.
I found that the band has a much more united front. Travis’ dynamics are much more unified with that of the song. The humour is still there, making you randomly laugh in the traffic. Matt’s guitar work is similar to Tom’s old work, but he adds an aggressive edge every now and then. Mark’s bass is just so friggin tasty; like ice-cream but with a handful of mooi.
Favourite New Song: “6/8” – ranging vocal techniques, quality drum work, piano, emotional rollercoaster. Great song. Favourite New Song (Off the Deluxe album): “Misery” – Mark Hoppus vocal melodies are pretty tasty.
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Business, leadership and career consultant, coach and columnist.