Not too much has changed since we last left blink-182. You might hear the same snap, crackle, and pop that the trio has prided themselves on for almost ten years. There's even the continual cabbage-patch screech of Tom Delonge and support for rampant teen angst. But five albums later, these San Diego natives grab their rosy-cheek punkadelics and add a bit more of a flamboyant, passionate maturation on Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. When Enema of the State leaped onto the charts in 1999, the lyrical direction was 90 percent party-boy mentality, leaving little room for traces of a growth spurt. And while we're still feeling the continual back-drip of tracks from Enema, the fresh plethora of tunes from these rambunctious Toys-R-Us rockers have more purpose than ever. With a fight-for-your-right joviality that's often irresistible, songs like "Anthem Part 2" and "Stay Together for the Kids" house a indomitable school-kid voice where a surging vapor of knockout speed chords meet wrecking-ball percussion. The meanings are bucketed and spilled, with lines like "If we're f*cked up/You're to blame" ("Anthem Part 2"). And forget about escaping lyrics such as, "I'll never talk to you again/Unless your dad 'ill suck me off," which stems from the hilarious, almost brilliant 42-second clash called "Happy Holidays, You Bastard." "First Date" and "Roller Coaster" are only a couple of their tunes that act as therapy for post-pubescent dilemma, also present on previous efforts like Enema and Dude Ranch. Each song about the rotten girlfriend or unhip parent speaks loud and often to the 2000 MTV generation. Nevertheless, the dumped-in-the-amusement-park tone and lyrical progression are sharp, if not entertaining. The band's stint on the Vans Warped Tour, with veteran punksters such as Pennywise and Rancid, has become a supreme outlet for blink-182. Take Off Your Pants is one of their finest works to date, with almost every track sporting a commanding articulation and new-school punk sounds. They've definitely put a big-time notch in the win column.
Take Off Your Pants and Jacket Review
by Darren Ratner