Various - I Guess This Is Growing Up (A Tribute to Blink 182) [Pt. 1] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


I Guess This Is Growing Up (A Tribute to Blink 182) [Pt. 1] (2014)

Enjoyment Records

Releasing a series of Blink 182 tribute albums– How could you not bite– U.K. indie label Enjoyment Records took a gutsy move and I applaud it. This is something that could well wash away the taste of whatever Punk Goes... that Fearless threw, and will continue to throw, at us. Blink 182 always has been and always will be one of those punk bands in their own poppy, anthemic, catchy and MTV 'sellout' essence that sits as easy to digest. Even at their worst, they've been listenable. Stacking up a tribute record is ballsy but the approach of pushing out the volumes in little nuggets is something I find very workable and while the debut needs some fine–tuning, I think the fun message is there. Don't be afraid to subvert and fuck shit up. Do you. Be you. But remember what Blink did when they made these songs. Well, that being said, I Guess This Is Growing Up ain't half bad at all.

Dads take the cake here. It's low–hanging fruit to sit with the simple "Adam's Song". The two–man piece sticks to its fundamentals but amps the drums up a bit, hitting harder and harder on the cymbals, while staying close to the original in the truest sense. It reinvents the least but is the perfect example of the garage sound the record holds. When this is weighed against the mathy take on "Man Overboard" by Lions (who really must get credit for their best Tom Delonge impersonation) or compared to a slash and burn "Dammit" by We'll Die Smiling (which veers way off course from the punk establishment of the track), let's just say Dads sit up pretty well. They didn't try to be too smart for their own good on a track that doesn't really require that much subversion.

Now, don't think that a band spinning their own take on things isn't that bad a shtick. Slingshot Dakota strips "Stay Together For The Kids" bare and down to its spine with a dramatic interpretation that's earnest, emotive and relatable. It's hauntingly slow as it treads on creepy organs, thumping drums and a very slowly–timed arrangement that at one point feels like a warehouse session with Tigers Jaw. It's good to have that balance so that the record doesn't feel cloistered but to leave out a glaringly badass chiseled piece of punk would be totally against Blink's grain. That's where Tir Asleen steps up with a melodic–punk swing at "Wendy Clear" to remind you that there's no need to be THAT abstract on a Blink 182 tribute. Mark, Tom and Travis wouldn't want you to be that intelligent reshaping their music. Mission accomplished folks. Onto volume two.