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National Song

Blink-182, "What's My Age Again?"

Do you think they're sexy?

Blink 182 I gotta admit, I'd still rather hear Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy," the Blink sound-alike that mounted a surprise challenge against the real thing on the airwaves last summer. Like "What's My Age Again?", it's a tuneful SoCal hard-rock saga of morning-after regret that speaks for every dumb-but-well-meaning guy with a self-destructive streak. But Lit didn't have to rely on a charade of adolescence to get their point across. Plus they look like total poseurs, and their follow-up single stiffed even though it featured a giant, half-naked Pamela Anderson Lee in the video. It's always more fun to root for the underdog, especially one that can pull off a feat as unfathomable as that.

And soon after the cascading guitar arpeggios that open "What's My Age Again?" heralded Blink-182's
return to the charts, it became clear that at least these guys were underdogs no more. Marked as one-hit wonders after '97's "Dammit," they emerged this past year as rock's great non-rap hope behind the blockbuster performance of Enema of the State (MCA). Ridiculously catchy chorus aside, "What's My Age Again?" is as funny ("I wore cologne to get the feeling right") and, uh, poignant ("Nobody likes it when you're 23/And you still act like you're in freshman year") as anything by Eminem, who shared a stage with the band on last year's Warped Tour. And unlike those Lit poseurs, Blink-182 didn't cop out and hire a half-naked international sex symbol to sell their video -- they took it all off themselves and did just fine, thank you.

-- Sean Richardson

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