Review Summary: Dude Ranch is a great album, and is recommended for all the fans that found TOFYPAJ a bit too mature and Enema of the State too polished for their liking.
It's been 12 years since Dude Ranch was released, and the radio airwaves have since been saturated with such similar sounding punk-pop bands as New Found Glory and A Simple Plan. However, few bands have been able to replicate the raw riff-heavy , and gloriously immature lyrics with the aplomb that Blink-182 has with this record. They have since matured greatly, as is to be expected after the first decade or so after high school rolls around, but the appeal of this record cannot be denied. Green Day came before them, but Blink had a better sense of humor and were at least strong musically. At least vis-a-vis pre-Insomniac Green Day.
The first trio of songs kick of the record on a resounding high note. "Pathetic", "Voyeur", and hit single "Dammit" are chock full of super-catchy guitar riffs and, oftentimes, quite humorous and clever lyrics. Even if lyrically they don't venture far beyond tales of adolescent sex and bad breakups, few can deny the pure fun of such tracks as Voyeur, in which Tom Delonge waits for a girl to return home from work for, well, voyeuristic reasons :
"I can't be two cool in a tree with my pants down
The air is cold and I've got splinters in my feet
She caught me once, but I don't think that she cares now
Unlike before, her view is now blocked by a leaf"
The rest of the album is the same standard( but usually memorable and catchy) four-chord punk rock and lyrics swimming in the ever so refreshing sea of adolescent angst, in which they don't get too angry, and juvenile humor, in which they don't get too offensive. The best moment outside of the initial trifecta may very well be "Degenerate" which is both hilariously juvenile( "Thrown in the policecar and the door slammed/No noise, just silence, as I screamed, my dick was Jammed /now in prison for one month, no one to see /All I got is a guy Ben Dover") and insanely catchy, especially in the surging chorus.
Although they lacked the artistic aspirtations and maturity of such peers as Green Day and The Offpsring, Blink-182 served as a surefire way to embrace our inner 17-year old. Dude Ranch was undoubtedly their crowning moment.