Tom DeLonge Releases Disappointing Collection Of Demos, Surprises No One

Tom DeLonge

A few months after teasing a collection of demos that were meant to be future blink-182 songs, Tom DeLonge has released an official stream of To The Stars… Demos, Odds, And Ends.

I’ve listened to the release a few times now, and I think I’m ready to say that I’m glad Tom is no longer a part of blink-182 if this is what he was bringing to the table. While the release isn’t entirely awful, it’s not something that I’d ever give a second listen to. Songs range from frustratingly mediocre (“New World,” “Suburban Kings”) to downright embarrassing (“Golden Showers in the Golden State” is without question the worst thing we’ve seen from the Angels & Airwaves frontman), and the short run-time leads me to think that this release was thrown together in an attempt to save any goodwill from his blink-centered fanbase.

You can stream To The Stars… below, but you don’t have to, and honestly, you’re probably better off not doing so.

John Bazley

John Bazley was raised in central New Jersey by the romantic aura of the Asbury Park beachfront, punk rock, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. He is still trying to figure all of this stuff out.

In addition to UTG, John has contributed to Alternative Press and Full Frequency Media. Follow him on Twitter for pictures of his dog.
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  • Daniel

    It’s obvious from this post what divides blink fans from AVA fans. “Golden Showers in the Golden State” is the only song that would have been a perfect fit for the new blink album, and quite frankly, it’s the only “blink” sounding tune he’s written since 2003. It’s just a shame it took him over a decade to finally write a punk song. “New World” would have been great too. But everything else is just trash. In the end, this “effort” doesn’t satisfy blink or AVA fans. And honestly makes me less sad about blink’s (second) break up. Looking forward to what Mr. Skiba brings to the table.

  • This is a controversial opinion, I’m sure, but I can’t listen to grown-up Tom DeLonge sing about potty humor and his cock. That “Golden Showers” riff is basically a more boring version of “Anthem Pt. 2” and while it sounds like early blink, it’s just a watered down imitation. I’m glad it never turned into a blink song because it’s just *so* bad, even for 2003 Tom’s standards. Agreed about Skiba though. I’m hoping Skiba, Hoppus, and Travis get into the studio with Bill Stevenson soon and make a great pop punk record.

  • It’s obvious that there are two types of people. Mark and Travis fans, and Tom fans. Thats incredibly clear now. Every review I’ve read is one sided, and so are every one’s comments. Being a fan of all three people still I have to say this is not nearly as bad as your review makes it sound. And secondly, people need to remember that these were just demos, and ideas. He didn’t put nearly as much time into this as he would have into an actual album. People need to remember that when they listen to this. I thought that An Endless Summer could have been an awesome blink song, same with Suburban Kings. And yeah, Golden Showers isn’t meant to be serious. Every one acts like Tom never wrote songs like this but did you even listen to blinks earlier stuff? Until someone actually speaks to me that seems to have some knowledge or common sense on this subject my opinion remains the same. For demos, this release really wasn’t that bad. I was pretty pleased with it. And I would definitely be interested in hearing what Barker, Hoppus and Skiba could come up with together. They should do it under a different name though.

  • Alex Ford

    You guys are incredibly rude.

  • T-BAG

    such a snob review, i actually enjoyed it! you can tell this guy is a mark fan

  • Thomas Ross

    “Demos” aren’t typically mixed and/mastered as well as these songs are. That requires extra attention, going back over every song, checking levels, adding effects. Golden Showers is a complete forced effort of appeasement for any nostalgic blink fan who missed low brow humor and Tom’s nasal-ly “punk voice”. This dude completely gave up on blink 182, and if you can’t admit that after ever hearing him sing live in the past 5 years since they got back together (at times an absolute mockery) you’re in DeLonge Denial. I shouldn’t purchase an album assuming I’m going to hear stuff I’ve probably already heard, on previous AVA albums. I am so sick of “LA LA LA’s” that I’ve undoubtedly heard sang in over replicated melody, I’m just sick of them in general. I am disappointed. I don’t believe that these were demos at all. Honestly it sounds like they were thrown together, last minute. This dudes ego is too large for a pop punk trio any longer. I agree Mark, Travis and Matt should change the name, because blink 182 is dead, and has been for a long time. Tom DeLonge has been blinded, and apparently deafened by his own thoughts of grandeur. Probably still affected by his issues with pain pills. “AVA music will change the world!” , “An album with a movie that goes a long with it!” , “15 novels with an album with everyone, for absolutely no reason”. He should find something better to do with his time, music isn’t cutting it. I used to be able to listen to an entire blink album start to finish without skipping a song. I don’t want to listen to this again. Just so you don’t think I’m one sided, I only liked a few +44 songs, and “Neighborhoods” was good for a moment because it was exciting, and something new.
    What it turned out to be, and “Dogs Eating Dogs” as well for that matter, was a cluster f!%k of +44 and AVA sounds and writing styles, when all we wanted was so much easier. Time to let it go.

    There is one type of person, one who can review music with unbiased opinions. Who will call a spade a spade. Musically, and forgetting about any over dramatized break up, this album as a MUSICAL effort, is no good. It’s barely the latter.

    Signed,
    a Blink fan since 1997.

  • Daniel Ronczkowski

    I agree with most of what you are saying…

    “Tom DeLonge has been blinded, and apparently deafened by his own thoughts of grandeur”

    I don’t know that that is a BAD thing. All the big names from early rock and roll where too big for their original bands for the most part. I see it more as Tom just branching out as a musician and not being held down to his pop punk roots.

  • ashley

    Listen here every one…. Tom was the person who started blink…. I grew up with blink. And he wrote a good amount of the songs. I think he did an amazing job with this…. The songs are heart felt just like the old days… Also with fun just like the old days and he did it himself. Have some respect for an amazing artist… He is doing amazing and just because most of you are uneducated on anything to do with one )Tom. Two) music. 3) most of you are probably into the bullshit whatever they call music today. Tom, I have the up most respect for you. I grew up with your amazing lyrics. Don’t let anyone tell you different because the true fans know. Keep it up

  • I have a lot of respect for Tom’s output back in the day. I’d call blink one of the most important bands in the growth of my love for music. I love the untitled record, I think Boxcar might be his best work, and Enema/Dude Ranch are great when the timing’s right. I just don’t like this release. I believe it’s pretty clear Tom didn’t put a lot of effort into this, and I think it’s only seeing the light of day because Mark and Travis called him out publicly. But that’s just me.

    If you like this release, that’s great too! What did you like about it? One of the reasons I like to write about music is to share perspectives on music I’m interested in with others.

    As far as “the bullshit they call music today,” there are loads of bands making music today that I’m sure you’d love as a blink fan. If you’re into the Dude Ranch/Enema/TOYPAJ era of blink, you’d probably love Neck Deep, The Story So Far, and Seaway. If you’re more into the untitled sound, I’d give a listen to the new All Time Low record (which features Mark on one track), Fireworks, and the latest Hostage Calm record.

  • I went into the release knowing it consisted of unfinished songs, and I still don’t think it’s very good. He’s selling the album, so I’d say it’s fair to criticize what I don’t like about it.

    I’m a big fan of blink’s pre-TOYAJ output, potty humor and all. I don’t think Golden Showers is a good song because it feels like an empty shell of that – the band consciously “matured” for the ’03 album, so when Tom writes a song with those kinds of lyrics in 2015, it feels like he’s attempting to recapture that sound because it’s what the fans want him to do. I don’t think Tom would be writing anything related to blink (old or new) at all if it were up to him. He seems very content with what he’s doing in Angels & Airwaves, and I think that’s where his passion lies at the moment. Listening to these demos, I only affirmed that belief.

  • Well put. I think Jerry Finn’s death really put a damper on Tom’s musical output. Finn could take Tom’s outrageous creative potential and reel it in a bit to create a focused concept. I still like the first Angels and Airwaves album because of that.

    Without a good producer, I think Tom has a tough time keeping things focused and therefore makes all of these insane promises that he can’t deliver on.

  • I’m not a “Mark fan,” per se, but I do typically enjoy his output over Tom’s. That being said, my two favorite blink-related releases are Boxcar Racer and the untitled record, one of which is heavy on Tom and the other does not feature Mark aside from one track.

  • Just trying to write my opinion as honestly as possible. Writing about loving new music is my favorite thing to do, but if I don’t openly dislike anything, my seal of approval is meaningless. Sorry if you’re not a fan of my tone!

  • Bill

    Terrible review. These are DEMOS, odds, and ends. It is a collection of songs that Tom wrote that were not complete. A lot of people reviewing this release seem to forget that. Image if “Suburban Kings” were given to Mark and Travis before being released. It would rival any song on the Dogs Eating Dogs EP (which is their best release since Take Off). Also, I would not say that “Golden Showers in the Golden State” is “downright embarrassing”. It would have been a perfect Take Off extra song, which to any true blink fan is the best album.

  • I’ve been a blink fan since 1997 as well dude. Your ego is as blown up as DeLonge’s is.

  • Untitled Album is beyond good. My favorite album from them and arguably my favorite of all time. If you compare that to these demos, then yes. I will say they fall insanely flat. But I did feel like New World, An Endless Summer, Suburban Kings and Animals were decent. But also, I feel like I only feel that way because they are MUCH heavier than typical AVA songs. Not really a big fan of AVA. I miss Tom’s heavier style on guitar. Now he just always seems to be focused on that U2 sound and those ridiculous lyrics.

  • Oh, I totally agree with that. I just really feel like people are one sided in this whole thing. Never said it wasn’t fair for you to criticize it, or something you don’t like. And I’m not a big fan of Golden Showers in the Golden State myself, I was just merely saying that it’s more like the b-sides on TOYPAJ, more of a joke track. I agree it seems like he’s just trying to appeal to the fans with it. It’s all a bummer really. blink is my favorite band and DeLonge always being my favorite member really, it’s a bummer to know that I don’t think we’ll ever hear anything quite like the untitled album or anything similar to blink for that matter from him again. I don’t wanna hear AVA any more or his synths and spacey guitars, unless it’s like Asthenia… That’s 100% okay with me. But that’s the DeLonge I’ve missed since 2004.

  • Thomas Ross

    I wasn’t grasping at special treatment by stating how long I’ve been a fan, merely trying to gain credibility for leaving a comment. Didn’t want to seem like a troll. My entire point though, as pretty much validated by your response, is that blink 182 is over. It has been over for a while. At this point it’s a brand. Slap a well known brand on something, people are going to have predetermined expectations. So yes, if Mark, Travis, and Matt create an album together, they need to form a different group. If for no other reason than creative freedom, so know one has any presumptions about the sound. If I were Matt Skiba I’d rather NOT be in a position to constantly be compared to someone else, and rather be in a NEW punk pop group, hell they could even try math rock for all I care. The brand must die. My main issue is with people who assume that because I dislike something Tom DeLonge does, I’m a “Mark fan”. This isn’t twilight, there aren’t teams here. I am a blink 182 fan. Even so, there are plenty of blink songs I could be critical about as well. You and I completely agree on the AVA sound. I was pumped for the first album, but also my favorite band had broken up and it was the first thing I got to hear something from someone! I liked it. There was obviously no comparing it to any blink effort. Easily done because there weren’t “fast punk drums” or heavy guitar. A lot of ringing out…. a lot. It was criticized on its own merit though. To me, this “demo” album was Tom’s advertising that “hey, I still play fast music. I still do four chord progressions, come back. Come back and love me.”

    It’s easy for any artist these days to peruse the interest and see what the fans want, as we are proof, everyone is very vocal on the internet about opinions. I feel like these “demos” were just that, even if he didn’t want to play music like he used to, we twisted his arm enough. Myself, and as it seems Mr. John Bazley, just aren’t happy with the result. At some point Tom must have gotten fed up with Green Day still basking in mainstream success, winning Grammy’s, creating Broadway musicals… pissing off a good portion of their own fan base… What do you do? Well you can brush up on your singing chops, like Billy Joe, cut out the nasal congested punk sound and go for that grammy. Or you can hang out like Pennywise, don’t change a good thing, and make your fans happy regardless of if you’re still getting mainstream success. Tom probably missed being on TRL.

    I wanna stress that I am not attacking you in anyway, I’m speaking in general to anyone reading. Like this album, hate it, either way you appreciate music whether or not you can give a negative or positive review. No need for the boos and hisses or the “pssh, he’s obviously a Mark fan.” That’s childish. Again, generalities, not directed at you Chris Jon.

  • Thomas Ross

    Blink died with Jerry Finn. Like a lot of producers out there are extended members of their projects, he was the fourth member of blink. He let them stretch out on the self titled. I think a lot of people lose sight of how vital a good producer is, and most would be shocked to know that after Dude Ranch Jerry was a part of every Blink album including the live album (gasp! post production on a live album?!?!) , the Boxcar Racer album, and even the +44 album.

    I just don’t understand the insane promises. It makes me sad. I’d listen to his music even if it didn’t change the world. Just make it good. Just because someone message an album “Demos, odds and ends” doesn’t mean they didn’t put a lot of thought into it. There’s a difference between a raw demo, and putting on heavy vocal mods to make it sound like it’s raw, or in a shower.

  • Thomas Ross

    I’m with you. A good pop punk record. Not to be confused with a good blink 182 record.

  • Well, this isn’t a review. It’s a news post. If I were reviewing it, I would have gone into much more detail. And like I said in another comment, I’m fully aware that these are demos. Regardless, I don’t think they’re very good.

    As far as your other comments go, I disagree on just about every front. I think the Dogs Eating Dogs EP was largely forgettable aside from the title track and “Pretty Little Girl,” neither of which are particularly great songs. As a blink fan, I’d also argue that the untitled record is easily their best work to date and TOYPAJ is my least favorite post-Cheshire Cat album. I think Golden Showers forgoes all of the “maturation” on the untitled record to appease fans, which I’m not a huge fan of.

  • It’s fine dude, I’m one of the few internet people you can have a rational argument with. I see all of your points and think we both actually agree on most. I just think it’s safe to say we leave blink where they belong, in 2005. I don’t think we’ll hear much of anything like that ever again from Tom. I mean even his lyrics are nothing compared to what they used to be, his voice sounds completely different and his guitars sound nothing like they did in the past.

  • Robert Flannelbuttondown

    I actually really liked this release, especially “New World” and “Animals.” Admittedly, I’m an unabashed Blink fan, so I will generally like anything these guys put out (except “Fighting the Gravity.” The hell was that?). I think Tom is way more in his wheelhouse with this release. When he tries to do too much, meaning basically every AVA album, he gets exposed. I would love if he trended more towards punk/pop. Anyways, you have a right to your opinion, John! Obviously. I’m just glad this release is getting covered.

    Also, I agree the self-titled album is by far their best.

  • Thomas Jacoby

    John your opinion was great.totally agree.i played the album for Co workers who love blink and boxcar and are casual fans and they said word for word “absolutely horrible”. I thought some of the melodies were good but it was a huge letdown over all.i believe it was thrown together for revenge on mark and Travis and maybe he had a few songs in the works but musically it was shallow and some riffs recycled.the Era 2001-2004 for me was the best Tom ever was absolutely on top of his game and untitled album was insanely good.

  • Gustavo Alves

    I actually like this. Jumped straight to Golden Showers~ after listening to New World and… I expected much worse, this is actually a good song, I hope you were right and this is the worst HAHAHA

  • Dubstar939

    Completely disagree as this was a demo album and from what was demoed sounds like Tom was the main writing force behind Blink. And The Guitar riff in Golden State Golden Showers is super catchy even if the lyrics are immature.