Thursday, October 05, 2006

song of the week: feeling this

i shouldn't love you now I'm 23 - what's my age again?

Like many previous posts I may look back on this song of the week with mild embarrassment, possibly even shame. But like all the others, I can’t regret championing what I feel is a very underrated song by a rather overlooked band.

I love Blink 182. I loved them ten years ago when I was just about young enough for it to be excusable, and I love them still. I believe most redblooded girls love a couple of boy (or girl) bands in their lifetime. My sister will be a Boyzone fan when she collects her pension and one girl at work still refuses to remove her Busted sticker from her computer. [I worked with Busted for a day - the little piggie one is a twat, but the others are actually really nice boys.] Another spent six hours in her pyjamas, singing with her best friend after seeing Take That’s reunion tour. (It was a jolly good show, but they were never close to my heart like Blink 182). There’s also much to be said for the positive influences of boy bands. My heart-throbs led into a much deeper love affair with The Clash and The Specials and the hours of good music that comes from getting into those bands aged fifteen. I’m not really sure what Boyzone did for my sister, but her taste in music has significantly improved, so at least all is not lost.

Nobody has written better about boy bands since Julie Burchill’s juicy expose on the dark minds of teenage girls in her fantastic article on Take That (which I can’t find online anywhere – somebody help me) so I won’t try here. Instead, I’ll make my remit more specific: why Blink 182 are, as they say, awesome. (Next week on missing dust jacket: junior-punk Boy bands part II – Billie Joe Armstrong: cutoffs, baggies or drainpipes - the preferred pant examined up-close.)

I admit, part of my love for Blink 182 may have something to do with Travis Barker, a fine focus for brimming teenage hormones if ever I’ve seen one. But my reasons are far broader than mere unrequited love. For starters, he’s a fantastic drummer, and lord knows I love drummers. And it’s his part in Feeling This that makes it song of the week.

Feeling This the first single from the band’s 2003 Untitled album is a perfect 2:54 of teen-punk that proves Blink 182 stand head and shoulders above their copycats, just as Green Day stand on the baseball caps of Blink 182. It begins with the most excellent drum solo, which feeds into the rest of the song, anticipating the beat and giving it this great big thrust of hormonal energy, perfect for a song which I’m positive is about losing your virginity at the end of the summer holidays. It also has a slightly downbeat, nostalgic, back to school feel, meaning it stands alongside Kate Bush as crunchy leaf music.

Essentially the same guitar riff and militant drum beat propel the verses into a stripped back, ska-lite influenced chorus with classic teen-movie-style harmonies. Vocals on the verses are provided by Tom DeLonge, blessed with the kind of voice that belongs to boys who pull your hair and snap your bra-strap if they like you. Choruses and backing vocals are provided by the slightly more grown up, laidback stoner voice of Mark Hoppus. Transitions between chorus back to verse are provided by merciless, take-no-prisoners drum solos from Travis, the indispensable shouty intro that all pop-punk classics thrive on, and a corkscrew tight guitar solo. And then, as if it couldn’t get more textbook, whilst simultaneously exceeding all expectations, the chorus is repeated, this time sung by whiney little DeLonge, mixed way down so Barker’s effortlessly complex rhythms beat him into submission.

And then… the blissful middle eight with Mark Hoppus reminiscing about ‘that girl’ and romanticising cigarettes as only either adolescent or very old songs do, before the chugging guitar rushes you right back into the chorus. Finally, the song winds itself into a triumphant crescendo that falls away to a capella closing duet where the chorus is overlapped by looped solos from both Hoppus and Delonge mimicking the earlier guitar part.

Oh yes sirree, I'm feeling this.


At 05 October, 2006 23:12 , Blogger minifig said...

Drummers are cool, there's no denying it...

At 07 October, 2006 13:14 , Blogger Alexandra said...

I don't know anything about Blink 182, but I've never quite forgiven them for covering The Only Ones' Another Girl Another Planet.

"[I worked with Busted for a day - the little piggie one is a twat, but the others are actually really nice boys.] "

If I was still eleven years old, I would be insanely jealous.

At 09 October, 2006 14:57 , Blogger monkeytwo said...

ronan init...


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