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Nutshell Album Review: Green Day – ¡Dos!

Deja vu. It’s almost like Green Day just came out with a new album (get it…because they did…). ¡Dos! is the second installment of the ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! trilogy from the 90’s punks, which is boasted to be the band’s take on “garage rock”. Some may, unsurprisingly, be skeptical about one of the most famous (and sometimes infamous) pop punk acts to ever touch a stage making an attempt at a genre they have never come close to. And after Billie Joe Armstrong being admitted to rehab, resulting in cancellations of tour stops going all the way to 2013, the band has to do something to let fans know that everything will be fine. With the very short ¡Dos! being the awkward middle child of the trilogy, it has its own story create. Whether the story is worth hearing is up to the fans.

The album opens up with “See You Tonight”, a minute-long low fi recording that sounds like it was made on a boom box. It’s cute, I’ll give them that. But it doesn’t scream garage rock…until it leads in to “Fuck Time”. If you never thought you would hear the words “baby, it’s fuck time”, then you are in for a surprise. The song turns out to be a pretty decent rock song with a very solid 60’s-esque solo. Next up is “Stop When The Red Lights Flash”, a true hold on the garage rock sound this album was said to have. With a main riff that includes quick chord changes, background “oo’s”, and a vocal part that nicely overdubs the chorus part, this is one to get the moshers going. “Lazy Bones” includes a verse with a sort-of-Killers-mixed-with-other-stuff vibe and a very loud, guitar inflated chorus. After that comes “Wild One”, which ironically is one of the slower and more rocking back and forth type songs of the album. The lamest, yet most fitting description for this song is “it’s very Green Day”. Weird, right?

“Makeout Party” is like 21st Century Breakdown‘s “East Jesus Nowhere” on speed. That’s a good thing. This is just a very dirty, but well structured rock song that will automatically get you moving. The album’s first single “Stray Heart” has a very apparent garage rock influence, easily comparable to The Strokes. “Ashley” is a very energetic and jarring track with tremolo solos and a heavy bassline. Next up is “Baby Eyes”, a song that starts to hit to poppy side of Green Day. It’s very hooky, and it breaks into a hard refrain after each chorus. “Lady Cobra” is A GEM. This is a must-hear track from the album, with a sound like it was ripped straight from the White Blood Cells era White Stripes. They wanted a garage rock album, well they have it with this song. “Nightlife” is a song that seems a bit out of place on this album, with a very groovy and somewhat bluesy feel. The kicker is Lady Cobra (the person, not the last song) rapping. It’s…something new for Green Day. They get an A for effort. ¡Dos! then closes out with “Wow! That’s Loud”, another one with a Strokes like feel (except it’s more of a punk-garage hybrid song), and “Amy”, the acoustic tribute to the late Amy Winehouse. It really is a precious song and a very nice tribute to close out album number two from the trilogy.

¡Dos! is, as stated before, the awkward middle child of Green Day’s trilogy of mega albums. The album was called “garage rock”, but it still seems like the usual pop punk that the band is famous for. That isn’t a criticism of their normal sound, but the promise of change wasn’t followed up on as some may have thought. Nonetheless, ¡Dos! ended up being a solid collection of songs. The final sub genre is challenging to pinpoint, but this definitely isn’t an album to skip over. It leaves people curious as to what will come out of the trilogy’s final album, and makes you wonder whether or not this new garage-punk combo pack is something to become accustomed to from the band. Green Day’s ¡Dos! takes a modest 85/100, and it is available now.

¡Dos! Tracklisting:

  1. See You Tonight
  2. Fuck Time
  3. Stop When The Red Lights Flash
  4. Lazy Bones
  5. Wild One
  6. Makeout Party
  7. Stray Heart
  8. Ashley
  9. Baby Eyes
  10. Lady Cobra
  11. Nightlife
  12. Wow! That’s Loud
  13. Amy
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Nutshell Album Review: Green Day – ¡Uno!

It’s easy to admit that it was hard to decide whether or not this album would be reviewed. After putting out their eigth album 21st Century Breakdown and receiving the much-deserved response of “ehh”, modern punk kings Green Day managed to toss out two live albums, a singles compilation, a Rock Band game, and a Tony/Grammy award winning musical before coming out with the idea for ¡Uno!¡Dos!, and ¡Tré!. Now set to kick out a total of three albums between September and January, Green Day starts off with the proudly punk sounding ¡Uno!.

Starting with “Nuclear Family”, the now official quartet (with the addition of touring guitarist Jason White) sounds like they did at their best. Even though it’s hard to believe that anything called Dookie could be impressive, that album was the high point for Green Day’s career and they have very intelligently inched back towards that sound. “Stay the Night” is full of all the F-bombs and catchy hooks you could hope for, and goes back to the palm muting and loud bass grooves Green Day fans fell in love with. “Carpe Diem” has a solid power pop opening with a mastery of the “stop, start” songwriting technique. The band is also able to show their incredible gift for syncing up drum rhythms with vocals in this song, coming up with an overall catchy song. Next is a must hear from this album, the punky, fast-paced “Let Yourself Go”, which was not too long ago accompanied with a far-too-censored MTV VMA performance. This song is nothing new from Green Day’s early sound, but they hit the nail right on the head with how to make a new punk song that attracts listeners: keep it sounding like actual punk.

“Kill the DJ” is, in the words of lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, “straight-up dance music”. This song is uncharacteristic of the band’s usual sound, but it is sure to weasel it’s way into electronic-dominated party playlists. “Fell for You” is a song that sounds like the musical equivalent of a gene pool that includes Paul McCartney and Sid Vicious. The quick and powerful “Loss of Control” is what follows, a song with 5-second guitar solos (there’s a longer one, don’t worry), raw and fast vocals, and enough bass drum to make your head explode. This is just an absolutely gritty and sarcastic punk song that is another one to definitely check out. “Troublemaker” features vocals that are at some times comparable to Bob Dylan (which is frankly quite hilarious), an unbelievable catchy groove and an acidic guitar solo. “Angel Blue” is another fast-paced one that gets your legs bouncing and also forces you to be reminiscent of the late 90’s. “Sweet 16” is one of the quieter songs of the album, and it also hits the poppier side of Green Day that came to light in American Idiot. The album then closes out with Green Day’s famous story-telling on the pop-punk superpower that is “Rusty James”, and the five minute single “Oh Love”, a song that impressively encases the positive ends of 21st Century Breakdown in an almost arena rock style.

Green Day is one of the few bands that can say that they escaped the idea of 90’s punk bands only being listened to ironically. They continue to go with the trends and put out fresh music while remaining one of the biggest names in rock and roll 25 years after their formation. ¡Uno!¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! have been set to be something amazing, and ¡Uno! is successful at enticing listeners to stay aware of the next two albums (to be released November 13th and January 15th, respectively). ¡Uno! grabs a 92/100 and it is available now.

¡Uno! Tracklisting:

  1. Nuclear Family
  2. Stay the Night
  3. Carpe Diem
  4. Let Yourself Go
  5. Kill the DJ
  6. Fell for You
  7. Loss of Control
  8. Troublemaker
  9. Angel Blue
  10. Sweet 16
  11. Rusty James
  12. Oh Love
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