Enema Of The State

Everyone loves a party, so most people love a party band. That's why SoCal's Blink-182 have enjoyed a relatively long life in the ephemeral world of punk rock: They know how to make being pissed off sound as inviting as the pop of a beer-can tab. Bassist-vocalist Mark Hoppus, guitarist-vocalist Tom Delonge and drummer Travis Barker have a swell time on their third album, singing about sexual frustration ("Dumpweed"), alienation (the power-pop-y "All the Small Things") and the sucky, suicidal state of the world (the piano-laced "Adam's Song"). The minimalist rat-a-tat-tat rhythms never falter; the guitar boings up and down like a sonic Superball. It's all harmless but still gnarly enough to foment the kind of anti-everything rebellion that spawned rock & roll way back in the day. Sometimes feeling good doesn't demand more than a sense of collective ennui or a "bouquet of clumsy words/A simple melody" ("Going Away to College"). Blink-182 have the formula down, and for that, if nothing else, more power to 'em.