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“Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World: The Much Maligned Odd Couple of Late-’90’s Pop/Punk”

Ok, there are a lot of layers to this, so let me be begin by commenting that “Bleed American,” the opener on Jimmy Eat World’s fourth album which was ONCE called just that, is one of the headiest, steady-handed jabs at reclusive modern culture in rock. Because I know everybody’s going to be saying, with both of these bands, they’re not punk, they’re pretty boys, but JEW got angry, just see this song and “Get it Faster,” a build both darker and catchier than the Foo Fighters consummate work.

“All the Small Things” by Blink 182 was always kind like that bratty, obese little cousin that always rubbed brownie batter all over himself and ran around shirtless. It’s like, ok, I’ll abide this, whatever. Snickers, tired grins abounding. But maybe we’ve all BEEN that bratty little cousin, we just force ourselves to exclude these thoughts from the mind when looking down the road, when envisioning ourselves making it in this world. What happened to that kid? I’d just got done listening to Jimmy Eat World, and I was like, Wow, how hopeless are Blink gonna sound now. I put on the “All the Small Things” video on youtube. In the third shot or so, one of the guys is dancing around in tighty whities like a sort of Prince/Burt Bachrach amalgamation, staring with hopeless puppy love at the camera, and the whole thing is making fun of boy bands, in the sort of glaring cultural satire those tools probably pretended to “love.” And now here’s Justin Timberlake, constantly getting pitchfork cred, singin’ about sexin’, sexin’, sexin’, and actually being serious. Go figure.

 

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