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Nutshell Album Review: Green Day – ¡Tré!

TreWe promise, we haven’t been slacking on the reviews for bad reasons. The answer as to why we have been gone for over a week is because we have spent that time going to awesome parties, rubbing elbows with band members, and throwing TVs out of hotel room windows from the journalist point of view. The honest answer is that everyone here is a student who is currently facing finals week. It makes us seem lame, though, so let’s go with the first answer.

Nonetheless, enter Green Day (for their third appearance on the site) to lead our comeback! ¡Tré! is the final installment of their colossal new album trilogy, and it is hyped up to be a combination of everything heard before by the band. This could get exciting, and at the same time breeds good things for the punk rockers that to this day have separate,  oh-so dedicated fan bases that center completely on just one of their albums. Putting all of their eggs in one basket may finally unite the fans who saw American Idiot on opening night with pre-sale tickets with the ones who liked, well, Nimrod.

The album opens with “Brutal Love”, which is basically an amazingly solid vocal performance by Billie Joe Armstrong. Its a bluesy, more jam-out style rock song that the group pulls off very well. Up next is “Missing You”, which sound a lot more like Green Day. A sort of “Jesus of Suburbia” type hooky song, with fast chord changes and good background vocals keeps this album off to an impressive start. “8th Avenue Serenade” sounds like a punky Dinosaur Jr., with a combination of the Green Day’s usual sound and today’s modern indie rock. With high strummed chords and poppy riffs, this song is definitely one to take a listen to. “Drama Queen” is one of the rare occasions that Armstrong breaks out the acoustic guitar, and the lyrics are actually a painful story about growing up. Could it be influenced by the frontman’s big four-oh in the back of everyone’s minds? Maybe, but it’s helping the band produce some very strong work.

“X-Kid” is the next track, and it keeps the theme of getting older with more force than the album has had to this point. The vocals do not have the normal gritty range fans are accustomed to, but they instead carry a sort of monotonous mumble that works well with the rest of the song. “Sex, Drugs & Violence”, beyond having a wonderful title, is such an unbelievable 90’s high-schooler song; so much that it deserves to appear in whatever the next sad rehashing of the American Pie series is. I’m sorry, but American Reunion was not a good idea. ANYWAYS. “A Little Boy Named Train” is another one that hits Green Day on an unprecedented level, and is one of the first examples of all of their former sounds being focused into one piece of work. “Amanda” is what follows, which is just a very solid pop punk song that is a believable fit on any album in the band’s catalog.

“Walk Away” has an arena rock undertone that opens up with a subdued guitar part that is alone with Armstrong’s vocals. “Dirty Rotten Bastards” was described by the bands as “all over the place”, and that is not far from the truth. In fact, it’s right on; the song hits a handful of tiny microsongs in the span of 6 and 1/2 minutes, put together in a similar way as “Jesus of Suburbia”. “99 Revolutions” goes back to the riff-based punk heard earlier on the album, and also takes on an expected pop punk sound. The record then closes out with “The Forgotten”, a soft-hearted piano ballad that has gotten praise from all across the market. A good way to end a 30+ song collection and prepare fans for the unknown future of what of the late-nineties biggest acts.

Green Day did something bold this year that has garnered a surprisingly small amount of attention. They released three albums in two months, completely skipping out on the whole process of cutting out unwanted tracks. It was a simple mindset that if they were playing the songs, they were going on one of the three albums, and it turned out to be an admirable project. Three albums later, they are back again and sounding like a band that knows exactly what they’re doing. This album trilogy has proved Green Day isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and each album as an individual is still enough to give them a substantial amount of momentum. ¡Tré! brings thoughts of a possible new direction in the band, and comes out as the best album of the three album collection. It gets a 93/100 and it is available now.

¡Tré! Tracklisting:

  1. Brutal Love
  2. Missing You
  3. 8th Avenue Serenade
  4. Drama Queen
  5. X-Kid
  6. Sex, Drugs & Violence
  7. A Little Boy Named Train
  8. Amanda
  9. Walk Away
  10. Dirty Rotten Bastards
  11. 99 Revolutions
  12. The Forgotten
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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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