Blink 182: Tom DeLonge (guitar, vocals); Mark Hopper (bass, vocals); Scott Raynor (drums).
Additional personnel: Mark Trombino (piano, keyboards); Scott Russo.
Recorded at Big Fish Studios, Encinitas, California.
Following the release of their 1996 debut CHESHIRE CAT, Blink 182 returns with a satisfactory sophomore effort. Clearly influenced by the likes of Green Day and Weezer, Blink 182 provides fast, aggressive punk that is also melodic and fun. The trio's lyrics are filled with the angst and alienation that teens can relate to, while injecting humor also. "A New Hope" is an ode to Princess Leia and the Star Wars gang, while "Waggy" is a word bassist Mark Hoppus came up with while belching. Hard-core fans of the band will not be disappointed, as "Degenerate" is a re-recording from their demo tape, and "Lemmings" is from a split 7". All the songs on the record are catchy and infectious and hit single potential abounds. The musicianship is also there, as the chops are tight and worthy of comparison to any great punk band. Overall, DUDE RANCH proves the continued viability of punk-pop in the late '90s.