Enema of The State turns 20.
It doesn’t feel real to celebrate the 20th birthday of Blink 182’s Enema Of The State (EOTS).
Let me start off by stating that this my all-time favorite record, of all time, ever. There have been hundreds of fine reviews on this album and my personal bias toward it is exactly why we’re gonna focus instead on the story regarding it and the personal impact it had on me and my friend’s lives.
This is also the first physical cd purchase I ever made. My mom and grandma took me to a local CD shop called Sounds Familiar on Rosewood drive in Columbia, South Carolina. That day I was under the original impression I was going to trick my mother into letting me get a rap album while they went to look at my “youthful impression” of whatever other music “adults” listened to. I went to go look for it but Instead, I saw the super famous “Enema” cover art. I had no idea who it was or anything but I knew I wanted to buy it and hear it… and had to get it past my mom. I remember she paid the bill(thank you, mom). Before she purchased it she held it up to the guy at the counter and said something along the lines of “How bad is it?” of which he replied “not that bad” with heavy shruggery. Needless to say, she bought it, and the store had free promotional posters and I got to take a few home, along with the CD.
Before we got home we stopped by my best friend named Dylan Lightfoot’s House. We were pretty much brothers, especially musically. We had the exact same taste and youthful concept of what life and relationships were(to ignite our already steorided angst of being adolescent kids) and went to his room and popped the CD in his boom box. We were instantly hooked. There are no words that can but put into the English language that can describe the feeling of connecting with a whole album, musically, this hard. It was our bible. It was religious to us. To say this album influenced me, personally, is the grossest understatement that could be made. Every word is scripture.
I cannot translate how greatly this album, at that point in time, changed our lives and perspective of what commercially successful pop-punk could be. And it was so great. The guitars, the lyrical content, the super nasty bass and drums, the trio that was Blink 182 at the era of EOTS had a culture of kids in hysteria. I don’t really want to give a song review because every song on this record is a 10, in my personal taste, for as long as I live.
If I had to pick 3 songs from this record to highlight it:
This song is a masterpiece. Knowing the lyrical content and meaning of the song, this is a very hard one with dead friends.
Every time I hear it I automatically think of Dylan. It’s not a bad thing, as coping with time and family has made it possible for me to hear this song and remember exactly how WE heard it when we were kids. This is the super depressed, “life is happening” song. But it’s so real, we connected with it so hard, and living at this moment in time still think this is one of my favorite songs and has been for over a decade in my top 5 songs ever. Again, a lot of personal conviction with this one.
“I traced the cord back into the wall, no wonder, it was never plugged in at all.”
Was such a real and carefully scripted line.
“I couldn’t wait till I got home, to pass the time in my room alone.”
These are the only two lines of this song I can touch without nearly crying.
It was literally THE fucking anthem. As soon as this song comes on I get excited.
“No need to explain the plan no need to even bother. I’ll pack my bags i swear I’ll run, wish my friends were 21” pretty much summed up the angst of those days in a single song lyric. And we felt it so hard.
This is a very well written song, and it being about a young kid believing in aliens which I personally connected with. I still do not believe humans are the only intelligent lifeform that exists.
It’s a big ass galaxy, and at the end of the day, we don’t know. Or maybe, we do. SHHH.
Again, these are 3 highlights of, in my eyes, the perfect full-length pop-punk record ever.
Notable lines across the album:
“Say It ain’t so, I will not go.
Turn the lights off, carry me home”
I mean, how could you not? The perfect hook. So well done.
“Nobody likes you when you’re 23”
Yeah, I definitely said that at some point when I was 23 years of age. HA!
It’s not just about how good every song on this record is, it’s about how well Blink 182 pulled it off and kept it up as a band for a really long time. Think what you want of post- Tom Delonge Blink 182, they went on to have extreme commercial success in their next few albums(Take Off Your Pants & Jacket and the eponymous Blink 182 Album) to come. I think they are just not the same band as they once were… it’s just not the same.
Again, this was 20 years ago, so now with new members and sound directions, it is what it is, but I think this record truly encapsulates Blink 182 at their peak(subjective).
If I die I want this vinyl record in my casket*******************************
RIP Dylan Thomas Lightfoot