The Mark, Tom, And Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back)


MCA Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I think I've discovered the downside to growing up.

When I was younger, I would have reveled in saying things that I knew would piss off my parents or other adults. Likewise, I would have joined in the cheering if someone said those same comments on stage at a concert.

Now that I'm older, hearing someone scream such asides from a stage is boring... and disturbing. Such is the case with The Mark, Tom And Travis Show, the latest release (and first live disc) from Blink 182. Their general goofiness and profanity takes away from the real reason they're on stage - and that's the music.

I would love to do nothing more than focus on the 20 musical selections on this disc - but the constant inter-song banter (which reminds me a lot of disc jockeys who won't shut up during a song) gets real old, real quick. Oh, sure, some of the comments that the band - guitarist Tom DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker - are humorous ("I wasn't masturbating; I was cleaning it and it went off"), and I do like the way they slam other bands just before they take their "encore" break.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

But The Mark, Tom And Travis Show almost lives for the sexual, scatalogical reference, and a song isn't complete without making some reference to bodily functions, the size of the band members' penises or describing how they plan on having sex with everyone in the audience after the show. Judging from the audience's sound, I'm betting the bulk of Blink 182's crowd is made up of girls under the age of 18. (Insert your "jailbait" reference here.)

When the band does shut up and tries to refocus on the music, the moment has often been blown. Songs referring to screwing people's mothers don't help things along, leaving potential tracks such as "Aliens Exist," "Voyeur" and "Carousel" to wallow in a pool of refuse that Blink 182 created themselves. (Sometimes, it pays to review these albums in MP3 format; you don't feel guilty when you delete the tracks.)

There are a few bright moments in between the obscenity-laden haze. The two hits, "All The Small Things" and "What's My Age Again" get the loudest reactions from the crowd, and they are pretty faithful renditions. Possibly the most surprising moment is "Adam's Song," a track which dares to suggest the band has a serious side. Of course, after that it's back to goof-ball time. (Case in point: the final track, "Words Of Wisdom", which is nothing more than 11 minutes of filthy asides that - believe it or not - didn't have a place in the original flow of the album. Sometimes, I wish a compact disc wasn't able to hold so much information.)

I can't help but compare Blink 182 to their fellow pop-punk stalwarts Green Day, and marvel at how different these two bands really are. Green Day in concert might encourage people to start a mud fight, but they're more interested in fucking around (and I mean this in a good way). Blink 182, as documented on The Mark, Tom And Travis Show, is just interested in fucking... and in the end, it's the listener who gets fucked.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MCA Records, and is used for informational purposes only.