Release Year: 2012
The second installment of Green Day’s trilogy finds the band borrowing a lot from their side band Foxboro Hot Tubs. Some say it could even be that band’s second album, but while most of the songs sound like they come from early 60’s rock n’ roll, there’s still enough kick ass punk inspired songs to get you moshing around your room. If the first record the trilogy was something that would instantly please all fans alike, then the second part is the experimental disc that may take some getting used to.
The album starts off on a weird vibe with the short and sweet “See You Tonight.” What makes it so weird is that it has a folk sound with the acoustic guitar and the soft vocals. It only seems so weird because the last album got off on such an energetic, in your face vibe. Also, compared with the rest of the songs here, this one seems to not fit in the most, but this doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s actually a really good and sweet song. If anything, it just makes you wonder where the band is heading to next with this album.
The straight forward “Fuck Time” takes fans back to the vintage rockabilly sound that was found on the FHT album. Everything from the guitar riff to the entire vibe of the song feels like it comes from the early 60’s. This song also continues this sleazy theme that the band seems to playing around with right now. It’s a song about what else but sexing it up. This song has such a sleazy vibe thanks in part to Billie’s vocals. The way he sings and how he laughs mischievously throughout the song make him sound like such a creeper (but in a good way if that’s possible). Some fans may be taken aback by the subject matter, but really it’s just a fun song to let loose to.
The vintage vibe continues on “Stop When the Red Lights Flash.” The music is great here, especially during the intro when the drums constantly build up. Here, the music sounds like typical Green Day, but what makes the song stand out are the vocals. Once again, they sound like they’re from the 60’s due to the harmonies and how they are very articulate with their singing. It has a surfer rock vibe, which is really cool. Even if it takes you a while to get into the song, the chorus of “I’ll make you surrender” will instantly reel you in. While this isn’t one of the strongest songs on the album, it’s one of the most interesting.
Just as with the previous album, there isn’t a single disappointing song on the record. “Lazy Bones” has some of the best and most relatable lyrics on the album. The opening line of “I’m too tired be bored and too bored to be tired” is just amazing. Who hasn’t felt like that? “Wild One” is the slowest song on the album and it does drag on a bit, but it’s good enough that you really don’t mind, and the party picks up with the wild and crazy “Makeout Party.” This is the song that instantly grabbed my attention. When I heard the opening bars, it made me want to jump around the room. It’s fast, loud, and dirty all which make up a kick ass song. Also, the bass line here is fucking amazing. One of Drint’s most memorable riffs since “Longview.” And for those who long for the Green Day of yore, the sound and don’t give a shit vibe of “Baby Eyes” sounds like it could be a b-side of American Idiot.
The one song that has Green Day fans divided is the wildly weird “Nightlife.” Some people love it, others hate it. It’s another song with a sleazy sound and vibe, especially since the music kind of drags on as if it had one too many drinks at the bar. What really makes the song for me are Billie’s vocals. He sounds like he’s under some sort of spell that’s making him give in to all his temptations. The song gets a little weird with a rap by Lady Cobra. It’s pretty weak as far as rapping goes, but it’s not that bad and it grows on you after a while. My only complaint for this song is that it feels more like a Lady Cobra song featuring Green Day rather than the other way around. Otherwise, it’s an interesting experiment for the band.
There’s one song in particular that comes as a surprise for the guys. The closing track “Amy” is a sweet song full of regret and sorrow for the late Amy Winehouse. The song is kind of shocking because most fans probably were not aware that they liked the singer or at least thought about her in any way. The sound of the song is nice and clean, but it reminds me a lot of “Time of the Season” by The Zombies. The reason this is such a great song is that Billie doesn’t try to pretend he knew Winehouse. He clearly says in the song that he didn’t, but rather he wanted to get to know her as a friend. Whether you were a fan of the singer or not it’s still a moving song that you’ll fall in love with.
As I mentioned before, this album is heavily inspired by the rockabilly sound of the 60’s. Fans who follow the band religiously will say that it sounds like their side project The Foxboro Hot Tubs took over the album. It may be a shock for those who expected the hard, fast sound when they hear the vintage guitar riffs and the harmonized vocals, but the sound really works. And to break up the vintage sound, the guys throw in some classic sounding punk songs like the energetic “Ashley” and “Wow! That’s Loud.”
Overall, the album gets 8.5/10. Unlike ¡Uno! Which was so easy to fall in love with, this album may take a few listens before you decided whether or not you like it. But once you get past the experimental sounds on this record, you’ll find a solid album with more fun songs about temptation, broken hearts, and lots of partying. Some may call the songs immature, some may cry that they’re not as proactive as their previous material, but it’s nothing but a good time with catchy ass songs that you’ll be singing in no time. Let’s see how the trilogy finishes off once ¡Tre! is released.