(Reunion) Slump or Comeback of the (Decade)?

Fall Out Boy is one hell of a band.

blink-182 is going to hell as a band.

These two bands have often been mentioned in the same sentence: forefronts of their genres, “mainstream crossovers”, etc. They’ve also both been talked about A LOT the past few weeks. To catch you up to speed, Fall Out Boy released their new album “American Beauty/American Psycho” a few weeks ago. Three weeks back in a heartbreaking and downright ugly display of childish actions, blink-182 announced that Tom Delonge would no longer be a part of the band.

A bit of history; both bands, being kings of pop-punk in slightly different eras, took hiatuses from their career while they were at the highest point they had reached to that point. After a few years, each band announced their respective reunions.

Here is where the two stories take drastically different paths.

In short terms, FOB did it right and blink did it wrong. Fall Out Boy’s comeback announcement was one for the textbooks. Throughout the course of one day they announced a new record, released a new song, listed a full tour routing, and played a show that same night in a small venue in their hometown. The single was massive (3x platinum), the record was a change of pace and masterfully executed, and they have not slowed down since. The band is bigger than they have ever been after countless more world tours, yet another HUGE ubiquitous single, and what may wind up being my favorite record by the band. Wentz’s lyrics have never been wittier, and Stump has certainly never sounded as good as he does today.

Then there is blink. We all had high hopes when the band appeared on stage together at the 2009 Grammy Awards and announced they were in the studio and would soon be embarking on a world tour. The tour was great, I managed to catch the date in Atlanta (although it was strange that the opening act was Asher Roth). However, we did not hear any new music from the band for over TWO YEARS from the day they told us they were in the studio. The single was lackluster and the album was garbage. This was followed by a 5 song EP one year later and then nothing more than broken promises for 3 years. There was always talk of studio time being booked, then it would inevitably be cancelled. Seemingly there were some members that were more committed to their other endeavors then they were to blink-182. Now, it seems, after last weeks slurry of announcements and name-calling, we are probably near the end of blink-182 forever.

What fascinates me is how these two bands who were so similar in so many way wound up with completely different results to their reunion. I’ve been thinking a lot about this and the difference that I have landed on is this: heart.

I know it sounds lame and like a total music cliché, but I really believe it. I think that Fall Out Boy reunited for the right reasons; because they love making music, they had something to say, and they knew that people wanted to hear it. Blink-182, on the other hand, I think got back together because they missed the money and they missed the spotlight, the high they get from being ‘The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show’. They didn’t have anything to say, and they didn’t care about the music. Tom was looking for a way to fund his wretched Angels & Airwaves music and Mark and Travis hopped on because who wouldn’t want to pad their wallets with all that easy cash?

And that is why I think they imploded. That is the difference between blink’s reunion and FOB’s. Heart.

Also, I am terrible at ending these posts. So, here is the end.