From radical fanboy rantings to bitter cynicism spurned from what Enema did to punk rock, we here at POZ really run the gamut of opinions when it comes to feelings on blink-182. So, for our next installment of Decade, we’re doing a special Decade-point-five for fifteen years of Enema of the State – and we even threw in some extra topics to let staffers wax poetic on just how much they love or hate the record that gave rise to the popularization of early 2000s pop-punk and lots of dudes wearing tube socks with Dickies shorts. So check out our commentary on Enema of the State from Brittany, Erik, Zac, Connor, Zack, Steve, and Jesse, and make sure to reblog with your thoughts on the album – or just with your favorite blink-182 dick joke.
How Enema holds up in 2014
Enema of the State, to put it frankly, is an iconic album not only in the world of alternative music, but in popular music as well. It’s honestly challenging even trying to appropriately and adequately describe what this album means not only to me, but also to blink-182 and music fans everywhere. There is not a doubt in my mind that this album is single-handedly responsible for mine and many others’ love of not just this band, but of punk rock in general. This was the first album I ever had to buy in secret (something I would eventually get really good at) being as I was in second or third grade when it hit shelves with its scandalous, cleavage-clad cover. Even if fans don’t remember exactly when it actually came out, for most of us, it would be the first release we ever heard from blink, and life would never be the same for a generation of loser kids. These Southern California natives took over both the Billboard Modern Rock and Top 100 charts, as well as the TRL countdown with their naked bodies, catchy riffs, quips at girls and jabs at guys, as well as the more somber subject of suicide. This was also the first album to feature our beloved Travis Barker, who, despite being the new addition, co-wrote the entire album.
To me, this album can be described simply as legendary. The themes (in a nutshell: life sucks, parents suck, girls suck, guys suck) still ring true well after your friends (and you) turn 21. After having a “fuck everyone” kind of day, there is still no better song to drown out whatever bullshit has occurred than “Dumpweed.” Or, if you’re feeling a bit romantic, I’m sure no potential suitor would ever reject a note reading: “This world’s an ugly place, but you’re so beautiful to me.”
This album doesn’t simply “hold up” more than a decade after its release - it continues to dominate. Most of the other similar albums released around the same time as Enema of the State have since faltered in the longevity and relevance that Enema manages to uphold. This album, quite literally, changed everything. It arguably gave birth to everyone’s favorite sub-genre fondly known as “pop-punk”, and really catapulted punk into the popular music scope, making it accessible to the generation that wasn’t quite old enough for Dookie. And hey, if nobody liked you when you were 23, chances are they won’t like you when you’re 24 or 25 either, so you might as well keep Enema of the State on repeat for…well, ever. – Brittany Oblak
Most important song on the album
What makes Enema of the State such a revered album in pop-punk circles, and pretty much worshiped by blink-182 fanboys and girls (here’s looking at you, Zack) is the album’s sheer irreverence. Scan the tracklisting — most of the songs that struck gold (“All The Small Things,” “What’s My Age Again?”) don’t take themselves very seriously at all, even with the desperate underpinnings of Mark Hoppus’ struggles with being 23 and immature. Then there are the songs that take themselves even less seriously (“The Party Song” and “Dysentery Gary” in particular bring the idea of highbrow pop-punk out to the backyard and piss on it) which, unlike the album’s biggest hits, which aren’t timely as much as they are timeless, feel transiently stuck in the late 1990s. Worth a laugh in 1999 and an eye-roll 15 years later.