Thursday, August 8, 2013
I still listen to Blink 182's Dude Ranch frequently.
I preface by stating I do this completely unironically. Yeah sure its a testament of my generation's prolonged adolescence, and it reeks of nostalgia, but on its own merits its a great pop record. Some kids really got into that Nirvana stage. At age 14 I got into a Dude Ranch phase.
You know how you end up at a party and someone puts on some old dad bands like Hall and Oates or Kenny Loggins, and everyone collectively loses their minds sings their inebriated hearts out cause everyone knows the chorus to "What a Fool Believes?". Or they play some early 00's R&B that we all remember from being on TRL for like two weeks straight at the number one spot? If someone put on "Waggy" (objectively the best Blink-182 song) or "Apple Shampoo" I wouldn't bat an eye. Dude Ranch isn't reserved for drunken nostalgia sing-along party time.
Mission of Burma's Signals, Calls, and Marches is somebody's Dude Ranch. There is some 40 year old dad out there who thinks this is one of the best records, even without his rose-colored glasses on. He tells his shitty children "This is real punk kids" and they ignore him until they are in college and realize how cool he was/is.
Mission of Burma is Early 80's American post-punk, with angular guitar riffs, big drums, and introspective, relevant lyrics. With just the perfect amount of pop hooks, they remind me of if Les Savy Fav was around 30 years ago. Critics view their second release, Vs. as their strongest work, but start here with Signals if you want to dig in.
"Academy Fight Song" and "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" are standout tracks, with "This Is Not a Photograph" being my personal favorite. Burma's sound still stands out even years later, and they actually got back together few years ago and have been putting out some new records. Check out their first release below.