Review Summary: Remember to forget them
Some bands should be laid to rest, never to return. Fall Out Boy
is a prime example of "you should have stayed gone", but with Nine
, pop-punk legends Blink-182
took whatever decency they had left on California
and either provided catastrophic damage to it or completely shredded it. On the surface, Nine
appears to be a bunch of inoffensive throwback tracks, and for the first half that's partially the case–but the second half is essentially Mark, Travis and Matt pissing whatever musical goodwill they had left away.
The biggest problem with the first half of Nine
is how lazy and uninspired it is. None of it is memorable in the slightest, the instrumental work is more of a bore-fest than your standard Lil-Fortnite-Black-Hole-X-Six-type-whatever SoundCloud rap beat, and it further suffers from delivering us some of the worst lyrics that Blink have ever churned out ("You can never block my shine / I've been lost since 1999", "I don't care what you say / No, I don't care what you do / I'm goin' to the darkside with you, i'm goin' to the darkside with you"). While the addition of electronic elements in songs such as "Blame It On My Youth" appear to be the band trying to innovate or something, it just feels like a sort of desperation move; a "we're still relevant guys!!!" sort of thing. But it's not until the second half of Nine
where Blink fall right on their face and sink to the bottom of the ocean—"Pin the Grenade" and "Hungover You" feature Mark going off-beat (you've been releasing music for 23 years, how the hell do you manage this?), "I Really Wish I Hated You" is a test of endurance for the listener (aka "i really want to go listen to something else"), and "On Some Emo S**t" is more or less the band beginning to cry about how they're not young anymore until acoustic snoozer "Remember to Forget Me" finally puts Nine
, as well as the listener, out of their misery.
The mixing isn't any better than the musical content—John Feldmann continues to fall even harder than Rick Rubin, and his tryhard attempts to mimic Jerry Finn's production on 90's Blink album are at times even more laughable than the band is; the guitar has effectively become a poor-quality synth, the drums have all soul within them neutered, and the bass was presumably cut entirely because it is not audible at all
. If California
didn't kill Blink for you, then Nine
will be what does it—and even if you enjoyed California
there's no guarantee that you'll enjoy Nine
either. It isn't simply Blink-182 "goin' to the darkside", it's the SS Musical Fart Joke hitting an iceburg and sinking.