Sunday, May 03, 2009

Lights Out Green Day + Foxboro Hot Tubs + the Network

Well color me sheepish. (Sorry, that is such a douchey thing to say.) Turns out Green Day is coming out with their 8th album in the next few weeks and I had no idea they were doing anything besides sorta pretending to be another band and making a musical-- they are, in the words of Billie Joe, "a bit more fruity than the Clash."

You probably all know this already, but here's the rundown. It will be another big ole concept rock opera album, following the story of a couple, Christian and Gloria, while they cope with a post-Bush America. Reviews so far are positive, and Rolling Stone says that it "makes [American] Idiot seem like a warmup."

I'm actually listening to some of their older stuff right now, and while I do miss that old sound, I'm glad we're able to say that Green Day is still good. While the stuff has been of a different breed, they have maintained their energy and musicianship, and those combine to make even familiar riffs and sentiments feel fresh and fun. Like everyone in the world except teeny-boppers, I got sick of hearing the American Idiot singles over and over again, but enough time has passed that I have started listening to that album again with fresh ears and the ability to really sit down and digest what's going on- not just the politics, which are predictable and will likely be again on this new release, but the pathos of the story and music. So the few years that have passed in between album releases was a smart move. If Green Day had just thrown this album out two years after Idiot, I really wouldn't have paid any attention to it. At this point, I'm excited to see what they have to offer.

I've heard two songs at this point from the new release, which will drop in mid-May. "Know Your Enemy", the first single, is catchy and anthemic, but it sounds more like one of the filler songs of that rock opera. I won't say it's boring, but it's nothing new. I will say that the video is boring; usually Green Day's vids are a lot of fun, quirky, and a pleasure to watch. This video is just Green Day playing the song. Somewhere. And then they catch on fire. But that's about it.

On the other hand, "Lights Out," also on the single release, starts with relentless drumming reminiscent of the opening of "California Uber Alles"-- and thus begs to be played quite loudly--then progresses into a song that references earlier Green Day within the framework of the big lush punk pop sensibility that now defines their sound. I'll admit that this sample has me more fired up for this release than the Rancid release. While my criticism for "Know Your Enemy" and "Last One to Die" is along the same lines-- nothing new-- Green Day at least makes sure it doesn't allow "nothing new" (for the band) to also be "nothing special" (in general), whereas "Last One to Die" is Rancid at their blandest. (I still have hope, though.)

Also, the new album will include 4 bonus covers of Social D, the Who, Bob Dylan, and Elvis. Awesome.

Here, is "Lights Out" off the "Know Your Enemy" single. Also, the Blanche-esque "Red Tide" from the Foxboro Hot Tubs release. And how about a Network track? (Because I love how he says "La Jolla?") [You can also preview the tracks on Divshare.]


Jim said...

B, I've not left you a comment for aaaaages, so I thought I better swing by and leave one now.

Alas, I have nothing interesting to say in it, sorry.

ken said...

Much like Jim, I haven't been here in quite a while...but it's not my fault!! Baylor's firewall has had all blogger sites blocked for about a month now (we have super-slow dial-up on the farm)- they finally cleared it up today!!
I'll be catching up with the rest of your posts over the next couple of's nice to be back.

I'm pretty excited about the prospect of a new Green Day record - they've allowed their sound to grow up...and that's pretty rare for a punk band.


McCrank said...

wait you are turned-off by the latest Rancid but looking forward to the Hot Topic rock of Green Day? Hounds of Hell!

I am even posting about School Of Seven Bells and Crystal Stilts. Something must be amiss!

McCrank's Juke

lin said...



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