- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 21, 2001

Punk rock usually generates images of spiky-haired musicians who sport multiple piercings in variousbody parts and scream angst-laden anthems to break-necking rhythms.
Characterized by angry, little-known bands playing hard-to-follow tunes, mostly absent of recognizable melody lines, the punk genre has not always appealed to the ears (or eyes, for that matter) of a general audience.
Then there is Blink-182, a pop-punk band hailing from San Diego. The group's most recent album, "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket," hit record charts earlier this summer as one of the top 10 albums. In the genre of punk, Blink is anything but minuscule.
"This is the hardest, fastest record that we've done," says guitarist Tom DeLonge. "This album's way more punk rock than our previous albums."
A generous serving of shock-value stage antics, simple melody lines and raw-emotion lyrics typify Blink's punk style. Yet, during its young career, the band also has helped define pop-punk for a general audience of 16-year-olds-to-twentysomethings by coupling its style with enough hooks to catch a following.
Blink returns for the second time this year to the Washington area, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Those attending a Blink concert for the first time should be warned the band may or may not arrive wearing clothing. Known for performing onstage wearing nothing but their instruments, Blink members have amassed a media following focused on their notorious stage shows.
The band was not always so scandalously well-known, however. After forming in 1993, Blink remained mostly underground for several years and produced several albums on little-known independent labels.
In 1996, the band signed a record deal with MCA, but still was a few steps away from gaining any substantial fan following until drummer Travis Barker joined the group in 1998. From there, a controversial career took off with the release of Blink's first large-selling album, "Enema of the State," in 1999.
Often criticized for playing to the pubescent tendencies of its youthful fan base, the three-member band epitomizes the idea of obnoxious fun and appeals to a generation of pop-alternative rock listeners. Song titles such as "What's My Age Again?" broadcast Blink's lack of concern for adult responsibility.
But the band also explores darker themes. Lyrics from songs such as the single "Adam's Song," which gained substantial national airplay, speak to issues concerning teens such as depression. It includes the lyrics, "I never thought I'd die alone. 16 just held such better days."

WHAT: Blink-182 and New Found Glory
WHERE: Merriweather Post Pavilion, South Entrance Road, off Route 29, Columbia, Md.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
TICKETS: $21.50
PHONE: 703/218-6500

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