If the title Enema of the State didn't give it away, it should be clear from songs like "Dumpweed," "What's My Age Again?," and "Dysentery Gary" that moving to a major label isn't a sign of maturity for blink-182. "Dammit (Growing Up)," the first single from their third album, Dude Ranch, brought them a wider audience and the attention of major labels, which was just too tempting to resist. They signed with MCA, but the only sign that Enema of the State is a major-label effort is the somewhat cleaner production and the fact that they could afford porn superstar Janine -- all decked out as (surprise!) an enema nurse -- for the album cover. Of course, the lovely Janine is as much an indication as "Going Away to College," a catchy little number that pretty much repeats the narrative of "Dammit": blink-182 is not growing up, no way, no how, nowhere. And that's fine, because few of their peers are quite as blissfully stupid and effortlessly catchy as them. Sure, they might not show the emotional depth of Green Day, but they have good tunes and deliver them in a speedy, punchy fashion. Enema of the State isn't going to change anyone's life -- unless it's the first time a 13-year-old boy has seen Janine -- and it will likely irritate old codgers, but it's a fun record that's better than the average neo-punk release.
By: Stephen Thomas.