There was (and still is) concern with Blink-182 and the direction they were heading with the California album last summer. With Matt Skiba in replace of Tom DeLonge, fans were left skeptical with his position and how he placed in the legendary band that soared with mesmerizing guitar riffs and catchy lyrics for decades.

However, when California came out, fans were left thinking the band was commercialized and that Skiba wasn’t as good as DeLonge. California had too many “whoahs” and “ooooohs” that plagued the album, the songs were too short and didn’t have much real meaning, but we somewhat got a decent amount of clever lyrics from Skiba. It was almost like he was trying to find his place and his rhythm, but now it seems like he’s officially put on his seatbelt and put the car in drive with his work in the California Deluxe album.

After receiving the album days before from a friend, I was able to get a first take on Skiba’s lyrics and his work and let me tell you, he has proven himself worthy.

Skiba has important roles in songs such as, “Last Train Home”, “Bottom Of The Ocean”, and “Don’t Mean Anything.” He carries the songs with steady and sweet guitar riffs that maintain a sound almost like Enema Of The State would. However, we had previews of how he sounded in “Parking lot,” “Misery,” “Wildfire” and “6/8,” which were mostly heavy and relied on Akiba’s guitar, giving him somewhat of a leading role that we didn’t see in California.

The singles Blink leaked prior to Friday’s release of the deluxe album were just the tip of the iceberg. In my personal opinion, Skiba’s presence in, “Don’t Mean Anything” and “Last Train Home” are by far the most impressive art-pieces he’s contributed to the band. His lyrics and familiarity with Blink’s sound are more than enough to qualify for the best possible replacement to keep this band going.

Blink-182’s California Deluxe album was released Friday, May 19th. I recommend you get yourself a copy so you can form your own opinion on Skiba’s performance.

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