Enema of the State
When I was a teenager people listened to two different types of music. The internet had not quite managed to fill our minds with endless bands and artists so we still had a smaller selection to choose from and an even smaller selection made it into the mainstream.
Young men aged 12-18 either listened to Hip-Hop or Pop-Punk. There was about 1 year when everyone listened to nu-Metal but this tended to be the rule. The guys who listened to Hip-Hop played football and the guys who listened to Pop-Punk skateboarded. Those days pretty much wrote my future for me. We thought life was so difficult. School sucked, our parents made our life hell and all we wanted to do was grow up but stay young! Bands such as Yellowcard, Less Than Jake, Saves the Day, The Get Up Kids, Sum 41 and Fenix TX helped us find ourselves in our youth but there was one band who not only shaped us but also shaped all other pop-punk and modern punk for years to follow; Blink-182.
The band managed to capture the minds of a troubled generation and pointed us in the direction that we wanted to go. Whatever direction that was. With bands such as The Wonder Years, Mayday Parade and You Me at Six all stating they would not excist without Blink-182 their influence is obvious.
The band formed in 1992 and released a number of albums before releasing Enema of the State. Up until this point the band consisted of Mark Hoppus, Tom Delonge and Scott Raynor, 3 high school friends who wanted to play in a band and skate. Scott left and in came Travis Barker who was at the time playing with Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies. This was the catalyst of a major change. M.C.A put them on their major label and with Travis’ drumming, (seen as many as the best drummer in the world), made Blink-182 into a much more complete band. They were transformed from tin can, tape deck, school hall pop rock to stadium fillers over the course of a few months without actually changing who they were.
Enema of the State was their breakthrough album. Released in 1999 it created a whole new genre of music overnight with many others following soon. The album is filled with Blink’s signiture toilet humour as all their previous albums, Dude Ranch and Cheshire Cat, had but a sense of maturity had enveloped them. Maybe they recognised their fanbase was getting bigger, maybe the had now finally got some life stories to tell. Whatever it was it created songs such as Adam’s Song which was penned back in 1997 by Mark Hoppus based on a sucide letter written by a high school student. Controversey soon came when the song was heard in the background on a loop as 17-year-old Greg Barnes, a survivor of the Columbine High School massacre, hanged himself in the garage of his family’s home. The album did also have the typical dick jokes and gafs we expect from Blink with a fully nude music video to “What’s my age again” and the sickeningly pop friendly “All the small things”.
This album is not only a great pop-punk album, it’s a great punk album. One of the best. With this album Blink went on to write some amazing work and became one of the biggest bands in the world.
Sounds like: Fenix TX, The Wonder Years, Sum 41
Stand Out Track: Adams Song