WHO ARE THEY? The long-running, infamously sophomoric pop-punk power trio co-starring singer-bassist Mark Hoppus, hyperkinetic drummer Travis Barker and Alkaline Trio guitarist Matt Skiba, who replaced original member (and alien enthusiast) Tom DeLonge in 2015.
WHAT IS THIS? Like the title says, their ninth full-length (counting a 2000 live album) — though the Sept. 20 release is also their second release with Skiba and the latest benchmark in their slow but steady evolution from eternal teenagers into fully functioning grownups.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? The most mature (and sadly, the least fun) work of their careers. You won’t find a hint of the adolescent angst and attitude that drove albums like Enema of the State and Take Off Your Pants and Jacket here. Instead, you get sharply produced arena-punk anthems focused on adult feelings of regret, sorrow, romantic loss and nostalgia. Though they manage to sneak a couple of minute-long punk firecrackers into the mix.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? What’s My Age Again? Really? That Old? How The Hell Did That Happen?
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While applying a heating pad and liniment to your lower back, trick knees, arthritic joints and other chronic injuries you got from skateboarding and BMX-biking back in the day.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Grownup, thoughtful, sincere, wistful, professional, polished, commercial, yearning, melodic, adrenalized.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? For the most part, it’s a pretty consistent disc — which is great news if preview singles like Darkside and I Really Wish I Hated You are up your alley. If not, well, there’s always the 49-second spitball Generational Divide and the slightly longer and more stylish Ransom.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Why is it that the people who party the hardest and refuse to grow up the longest are always the ones who end up being the most boring and earnest?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Whenever you need a ‘punk’ record that you can play in mixed company at a BBQ, office party or other suburban social gathering.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A MEAL, WHAT KIND OF MEAL WOULD IT BE? A veggie burger with a side salad instead of fries, washed down with an alcohol-free beer and followed by fat-free yogurt and decaf for dessert.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Swipe it — if only to prove to yourself that you haven’t completely turned into your parents just yet.