After the release of the Trilogy, many were left wondering when we would see a new release from Green Day. They have finally given us the answer. This collection of demos from the aforementioned Trilogy was released exclusively for Record Store Day (so far). While it’s a great addition for Green Day collectors, it may not be for every fan. This release gathers demos of 18 tracks from the three albums. None of the songs are drastically different, but there are subtle changes that can make you appreciate the songs more.
The collection opens with a stronger, notably punchier version of “99 Revolutions.” Something about the raw energy, the unpolished vocals, and the overall brash sound makes it sound better than the final version. It has the classic Green Day sound that some felt was missing from their last albums. Whereas the studio version sounds like a filler track, the demo sounds like an anthem. The slight sonic changes, especially when Billie shouts “Nine! Nine! To one!” are very pleasing to the ear. Another superior demo is “Ashley.” While the studio version is really good, the energy and unpolished sound give it more a punk feel here. What’s interesting is how the bridge is missing on this version, but the song works just as well without it. The difference is subtle, but manages to improve the song.
A drawback to this collection are the lack of unreleased tracks. There were a couple floating around the Green Day community that still haven’t been released and this seemed like the perfect chance to do so. The only “new” song on here is the lackluster “State of Shock.” The demo isn’t bad, but thanks to the sub-par sound quality it’s hard to get a good feel for it. It’s one of those songs that’ll eventually grow on you; it just doesn’t grab you the first few times you hear it. The lyrics aren’t that interesting and there’s nothing particularly outstanding about the music. The one demo that pricks your ears up is “Baby Eyes.” This is mainly because of Mike’s killer bass heard in the beginning. It’s so different and awesome you wonder why it wasn’t kept in the final version. It shows off his stellar bass skills that have the tendency of being buried.
There aren’t a lot of differences between the demos and the final cuts. Any changes that are heard are very subtle and pretty easy to miss. But one thing that will keep you listening are Billie Joe’s bare vocals. If anything his vocals are the best thing about the demos. You can hear each and every inflection he makes on “Sex, Drugs, and Violence” and on “Make Out Party” he sounds even sleazier than before. Actually, the music sounds really dirty here making it a better fit for the song. Billie lets out his standard “Hey Oooh” at the beginning of “Rusty James” that’ll make you smile and his half mumbled bridge for “Oh Love” will make you laugh. On the acoustic version of “Stay the Night” he sings so low and soft it almost doesn’t sound like him at all. If anything the demos show off Billie’s lovely singing voice.
What I personally liked about the collection is how it sounds and feels like it was made in a live setting. When you listen to these songs you can picture everyone in the same room together playing them as if they were at a small gig. You don’t get this feeling with the studio versions. It’s not a big thing, but the live setting is pretty nice. Also, with this setting you get some funny commentary after most of the songs. There’ll be times when Billie comments how a play through was “sloppy” and there’s even one where someone says “Tasty lips!” It’s interesting to hear and makes you appreciate the Trilogy songs even more.
Overall, the release gets 7.5/10. If you’re looking for anything new or are expecting drastically different songs, then this may not be the album for you. But if you want a new addition for your Green Day collection then this is right up your alley. While the demos are good, there aren’t many differences between these and the final versions. There are some standout ones, but the lack of unreleased material makes it one of their weaker releases. For those who liked the Trilogy, but thought it had its weak moments, this LP might make you appreciate the songs and see how good some of them really are.