Blink 182

Cheshire Cat

Written by: PP on 14/04/2010 03:56:32

Ignore whatever new school Blink 182 kids tell you, nothing beats "Dude Ranch" and "Cheshire Cat", the vibrant, eccentric pop punk albums that focused more on the punk than pop, ignoring critic cries for flaws like off-tuned singing (see "Strings"), ringing guitars, and flat drums resembling like something that was recorded in their dad's garage. For a true pop punk fan, none of those things mattered back in the day because of the way songs like "Fentoozler", "Carousel", or "Does My Breath Smell?" made us feel - and still make us feel. They pressed all the right buttons; the guitar lines were simple but focused on ridiculously catchy melody lines, they had speed, and the lyrics were funny and something you could relate to. Remember - this is Blink 182 before "All The Small Things" and other MTV megahits. This is a record that has the sound of a garage party - with all your friends, a few kegs of beer and hot girls - written all over it, and I fucking love it, wouldn't want it any other way.

"Cheshire Cat", together with "Dude Ranch" a few years later, is what made Blink 182 get that record deal that allowed them to get on MTV and explode all over the place. This is the record with the song "Wasting Time" with lyrics that an entire generation of teenagers was singing along to in high school when they didn't know a thing about love, the classic "Sometimes I sit at home / and wonder if she's sitting at home / thinking of me and wondering if I'm / sitting at home, thinking about her / or am I just wasting my time?" line. And while songs like "Peggy Sue" and "Touchdown Boy" may not be the ones the big audience knows Blink 182 by, the hardcore fans will be the first to tell you that Blink has never sounded as melodic and garage-catchy as in these songs. Heck, listening to the barely one minute breakneck speed punker "Sometimes" makes the band that wrote "What's My Age Again" sound like they're from a different planet altogether.

The production may be shitty on 2010 standards, the singing is awfully off tune (protools didn't exist, thank god) but kinda funny nonetheless, and the sleek pop punk riffs are occasionally hard to make out from the mix, but this is all a part of the charm for this record. Otherwise "Cacophony" wouldn't sound like the punk interpretation of its title, and "TV" wouldn't have the college dorm room vibe that it so happily emits. Whether it's "Dude Ranch" or "Cheshire Cat" you prefer, I don't care, all I know is that these two stand miles above anything else Blink 182 has ever put out, and ever will. Genre classics that influenced countless bands.


Download: Wasting Time, Sometimes, Peggy Sue, Fentoozle
For the fans of: early New Found Glory, early Allister, early Yellowcard
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.02.1994
Cargo Music / Grilled Cheese

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