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Blink-182 is looking for guidance. The band released their five-song EP Dogs Eating Dogs following 2011's Neighborhoods. Dogs Eating Dogs is Blink-182 taking their music into their own hands after the band split with Interscope Records. This EP is self released, yet still falls short into mediocrity.
Blink-182 is a great band of course, but they are perplexing as they come. The comeback album Neighborhoods was a bit of a disappointment. With this newest EP, the band seems to be proud of what they're coming up with, but I feel like they're still lost. While some may like it, since the band's breakup, they really haven’t been the same. What's even more difficult to comprehend is I was lucky enough to attend one of their most recent tours and trust me, they still got it. They put on a great show with their older music, excellent showmanship, solid chemistry, it was an awesome concert. This doesn't translate into their modern music. Dogs Eating Dogs feels like a mix-tape of all the bands side projects in one. The old Blink sound sounds lost, as sounds from Angels & Airwaves and +44 sneak in. There are less anthems and more sadness in the lyrics, more synthesizers and less jamming. It's disappointing to see. I love Blink-182, trust me. I just don't like the direction that they're heading in. They are looking to grow as a band which is generally a good thing, but it sounds like they almost abandoned the sound they had in their earlier albums.
Looking into Dogs Eating Dogs, its okay. It's not great, it's not bad, its mediocre. They kick-off with "When I Was Young", and it's alright. Good drumming from Travis Barker as usual, but a track like this still feels bland. Probably the best song on the EP actually, and it's not saying much. The title track "Dogs Eating Dogs" is pretty good, but it doesn't jump out. "Disaster" might as well be an Angels & Airwaves song, and not one of their better ones. "Boxing Day" stands out. It's an acoustic, almost folk song with a drum loop inserted, which doesn’t seem like Blink. It's decent, it’s unique, but lyrics are very depressing. "Pretty Little Girl" is actually a decent song. The downfall is bringing rapper Yelawolf into the song. He's simply out of place here.
Maybe I'm being cynical because I really love early Blink, every band has to grow, but I just don't think their new music stands out as well as their older music. Tom DeLonge takes the reigns on most of the vocals on Dogs Eating Dogs, but I wish him and Mark Hoppus split the duty more, it keeps the music fresh. Of course it's Blink-182, people love them, and this newer music might grab some people, I just think it's nothing to get too excited about. This is supposed to lead to a full length album hopefully soon, and of course we'll see what they bring to the table with that but for now, I just hope they find their way. I still certainly recommend catching them live because no matter what, you'll have a great time at a live Blink-182 show.
Blink-182 - "Pretty Little Girl":