Blink-182's return in 2016 inspired contradictory feelings. Nostalgia tried to fight off exhaustion, the occasional thrill at a half-paced chorus was kept in check by a fixation on both the dick and balls, and on top of everything, Tom DeLonge was missing. That's not to say that Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba isn't a worthy addition to any pop group—he's a step-up in a lot of ways—it's just that he's not Tom DeLonge. Who made up one third of the band. And is now conspicuously doing alien stuff.
The contradiction faded a little after California spun a few times. And it fades further on "Parking Lot," released this afternoon. There's a distinctly Enema-era guitar line, some typically smart and syncopated drumming from Travis Barker, and a solid "na na na" from Mark Hoppus. The key is that Skiba's voice works better here than it did almost anywhere else on California, crackling a little in the middle range. It's a better map of the meeting point between Skiba's and Hoppus's voices. By the time Hoppus is reminiscing about being "forgotten young suburbia / loose on the streets of California" over a strummed bassline, leading into one of Barker's canned beats, it's difficult not to buy in entirely.
Or maybe that's just the passing of time and the realization that Blink-182 have got old with the rest of us. Why hang on to the past? You were awkward as hell and your hair was shit.
"Parking Lot" is lifted from a now-confirmed expanded edition of last year's California, out May 19, that will feature 10 new songs. Listen to it below via Exclaim!.
Follow Noisey on Twitter.