VINYL REVIEW: Blink-182 – Blink-182 (Hot Topic Exclusive)

blink vinyl feat

Artist: Blink-182
Album: Blink-182
Label: Geffen Records
Original release date: November 18, 2003

I think it’s safe to say that Blink-182 was my first favorite band. Not only their music, but their personality as a group spoke to me as a pre-teen and teenager with an unequivocal desire to be more outspoken and extroverted. My very first (and second) concerts saw Blink headlining and co-headlining and both of those experiences had a lasting effect on the future me. Looking back on it all now, I can’t help but feel that if it weren’t for Blink-182, I likely never would have made the life-long friends that I did or pursued a career in music journalism. Thank you, Mark, Tom, and Travis!

In 2003, the pop-punk trio released what many to this day consider to be the band’s most mature and superlative effort. With more experimental elements than we had ever seen from the band on prior releases (hello, Robert Smith!), Blink-182 was immediately a lot to take in for fans and critics alike. The band’s fifth full-length album took them to a whole new level of popularity while introducing long-time fans to a sound unlike anything they had ever heard from their beloved Blink-182.

Blink-182 has received the vinyl treatment in several beautiful variants over the past few years but Hot Topic’s most recent entry into their Blink-182 splatter series of reissues is just as impressive and sure to excite any collector of Blink wax.


Pressing Info

This particular release/variant of Blink-182 is the fourth pressing, limited to 2,000 copies, and pressed on standard weight clear vinyl with green and pink splatter. It is a double LP with an etched d-side containing the popular smiley face logo found on the album’s cover. This is the Hot Topic exclusive variant which, as expected, sold out very quickly online after being put up on December 24, 2013 with a price tag of $24.99.


Packaging & Presentation

For the most part, this gatefold jacket is rather standard but the colors are vibrant and inviting and the glossy texture on the outside artwork is nice to look at and feels good to the touch. In lieu of lyric/info inserts, all lyrics are printed on the inside gatefold image along with the band’s thank yous and individual annotations for some of the songs. The font is quite small and sporadic, however, so you need to more or less be sniffing the jacket to read what’s provided.

The vinyl discs themselves look really great. The splatter seems to be much fuller than that on the Take Off Your Pants And Jacket HT exclusive which was admittedly disappointing upon reveal. The etched d-side is nearly impossible to see unless you hold it at just the right angle in just the right light, but I think that’s typically the case for most etched albums. In its defense, though, it is clear which makes it exponentially more difficult to see properly.

All in all, the entire package looks as it should for the most part. It’s colorful, full, and easy to look at. My only gripe would be that the cover image is too small for the jacket. The resolution is fine but there’s a good inch-and-a-half of white void surrounding the image on all sides that could have been filled had a larger image been used. The original CD cover, while much smaller of course, used the image properly by taking up the entire space provided. This could possibly be due to not having a larger, higher resolution photo available and is really just a minor complaint that ultimately doesn’t affect the feeling a fan gets when holding such a sweet release in their hands. Hot Topic have been known to put out low resolution covers in the past, so as a picky consumer, I appreciate the slightly smaller image over a pixelated one.


Sound Quality

The sound quality is everything you’d hope for in a vinyl release; crisp and clear. I personally have not heard the previous pressings of this particular album but I would imagine that the sound quality is equally as impressive.


Wrap-Up

Hot Topic’s newest exclusive pressing of Blink-182 is definitely a beautiful entry into the album’s full collection of wax releases and any fan or collector would surely love to own a copy. As with any limited, sought-after release, it did unfortunately sell out very quickly but there are many copies on the second-hand market currently, and most, surprisingly, don’t cost an appendage as you would expect. eBay is a good place to start as most copies look to average around $45 dollars on “Buy It Now” listings, but I was suggest biting the bullet sooner rather than later as you’ll be kicking yourself when the value goes through the roof.


 

Review written by: Brian Lion — (Follow him on Twitter)

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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