's Dude Ranch
sneakily turned 20 years old this month. In blink's well-sized discography, Dude
created the format and standard for all of the band's later hit releases including Enema Of The State
, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
, and the self-titled album. "Dumpweed" replicates the guitar heavy introduction of Dude Ranch
's "Pathetic", "Voyeur" and "Aliens Exist" share the same short percussion pick-up beginning, and "Stay Together For The Kids" echoes Mark Hoppus' nonchalant vocals on "Emo". Take Off
even references "Josie", a standout track from Dude Ranch
. Their 1997 album, whether listeners recognize it or not, was a blueprint for blink's forthcoming, most popular releases.
tracks discuss high school disappointment in any regard, some more delicately than others both sonically and lyrically. "Pathetic" details a lady's lack of romantic interest in one of the boys. The timeless "Dammit" has Mark shouting and elaborating on his post-breakup interactions. Inversely, on "Josie", Mark maintains his shouting but instead in exclamation of love for his girlfriend. "Dick Lips" gets its name from Tom Delonge's lack of parental trust because he "blew it once before" and correspondingly gets grounded.
Despite the emotional angst and turmoil, Dude Ranch
sort of stealths the band's lewd lyrics and suggestiveness. The outro of "Boring" includes sensual love-making noises concluded with a horse's nay. "Degenerate" likely produced the album's title, "Went to a farm to tip some cows / Forgot that I left my pants down". Also noteworthy is Mark's sci-fi shoutouts on "A New Hope" where he states he'd do anything for a girl, including "walk naked through the deserts of Tatooine".
Ultimately, Dude Ranch
stands out as one of the best blink albums. It's obviously overdramatic, but that's high school and adolescence, living and thinking so incredibly short term and almost always stuck in the trivial past. Closing track "I'm Sorry" uncharacteristically reflects maturity and foresightedness, which, at this time, everyone including high schoolers could use.