Twenty Years of Blink-182’s “Enema of the State”

In the year of boy band domination, Blink-182 was the answer for the counterculture with Enema of the State (MCA Records). They were there to bring you anthems with no-holds attitude for in between classes to failed crushes and even jokes about diarrhea and animal sex. Jerry Finn who was behind the production of Green Day’s classic Dookie produced the debut album that connected with so many in more ways than one.

 

It was there for the laughs and the tears. The songs thrive in relatable themes, which at the time they seemed immature but perfectly represented the anxiety of growing up. Opener ‘Dumpweed’ didn’t hold back and introduced everyone to the signature pop-punk vibe that no one else had. ‘Going Away to College’ wasn’t just another song about a high school relationship but probably the first song that made this generation have an anthem for missing someone. ‘What’s My Age Again spiked the band’s fame—three guys playing naked in the music video might have helped.

They introduced us to one of the first suicide-note songs, ‘Adam’s Song.’ It was different and sad from anything else on the album. The message was blunt but relatable. If we had to go we wouldn’t want our parents to go in our room and we would definitely want friends to have the last of our stuff. It made you hope for better days. However, they didn’t dwell in that darkness for too long. ‘All the Small Things’ rivaled and mocked all the teeny pop songs of 1999 and pushed them onto MTV. They were a breath of fresh air and the catchiness to say it ain’t so, I will not go”… made it a classic.

You can’t call yourself a Pop-Punk kid if you didn’t own this album. And if you yourself didn’t own it, your older sibling or classmate sure did. They would burn you a copy that you probably scratched the crap out of. Enema of the State is a classic. They pushed the boundaries in the culture of popular music at the time. They were funny, optimistic and broke through a new kind of punk that makes it so timeless.

CYNTHIA JO