Whether one considers Blink-182 the bane of punk rock or the daffy saviors of pop, one must admit that their influence has been immense. Alongside Green Day, the SoCal trio pushed the bounds of Top 40 radio, making way for (better or worse) the Warped Tour and groups such as Good Charlotte and Sum 41. They evolved from mischief-makers on their 1995 debut, Cheshire Cat, to doting dads on their 2011 comeback, Neighborhoods.

Blink have publicly wrestled with their identity as a whole and as individual members. Founding guitarist-singer Tom DeLonge left (or was forced out, depending whom you ask) in 2015 to devote himself fully to investigating UFO activity, and writing his own music and poetry. Bassist-vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker enlisted the help of Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba for their upcoming album, California.

The band and their followers have wide-ranging tastes. Their highest-charting Billboard radio singles — the nagging “All the Small Things” and the melancholy “I Miss You" — exemplified their Jekyll and Hyde creativity. Later years would reveal DeLonge as the dramatist, with his concurrent group Angels and Airwaves sounding like U2 navigating the cosmos. Hoppus seemed the “pull-my-finger” foil, while Barker sneaked hip-hop traces into later material.

Choosing Blink’s “best” work is like choosing a favorite food— sometimes a greasy mess of fried chicken sounds divine; other times a sensible and satisfying grilled chicken salad hits the spot. They share main ingredients and are equally palatable depending on one’s mood. One is certainly more substantive, but the other gives unrepentant joy. Blink’s catalog mirrors that, with all albums offering a feast of fast-paced licks, seesawing guitar-and-bass interplay and memorable choruses that have audiences wondering, “What’s My Age Again?"

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