Tuesday, July 10, 2012

193- Dookie.

Album: Dookie
Artist: Green Day
Genre: Rock and/or Punk
Year: 1994


1. Burnout
2. Having a Blast
3. Chump
4. Longview
5. Welcome to Paradise
6. Pulling Teeth
7. Basket Case
8. She
9. Sassafras Roots
10. When I Come Around
11. Coming Clean
12. Emenius Sleepus
13. In the End
14. F.O.D.

Some people really hate Greenday. They rail against them and shake their fists with frustration at their massive success. The main source of their frustration appears to be teenage Greenday fans who say "I love punk, Greenday is my favourite band". People who really love Punk and grew up in a time when the word meant something feel that Greenday is to punk what the Rock Rhythm setting on a Casio keyboard is to John Bonham. It's punk-lite and it makes people who like punk-heavy very angry indeed.

For those of us who don't really consider ourselves punk purists and aren't so worried about labels, Greenday are just a rock and roll band. They have guitars, drums and bass and if the fact that their songs are short and they don't do solos makes them punk or the fact that their songs are catchy makes them pop doesn't matter in the slightest to me. I've put them on my stereo not in a box and I'm not going to get bogged down in labels (even though I have to choose one at the end of this post).

Taken entirely on their own terms it's hard not to like Greenday. This is their big label debut and you can see why everyone wanted to sign them. They can crank out a catchy tune and they play high energy  music with suitably nihilistic lyrics. Longview, the first single and the tune that broke them in the States, is unashamedly about masturbation and marijuana, two subjects dear to the heart of teenagers all over America. There were 15 year old boys sitting around in their homes with a spliff in one hand and a stiff in the other thinking "finally someone is singing about something I care about".

The four singles (Longview, Basket Case, She and When I come Around) are all catchy with anthemic moments that made for great audience sing-alongs in concert. Greenday's ability to transform their high energy studio performances into higher energy stage shows made them a huge drawcard in the states and throughout the world.

Greenday would definitely benefit from their later ability to craft more complex songs with a political slant (on American Idiot) and ballads (Good Riddance Time of your life) which varied their sound considerably. Dookie feels like a succession of fast paced rockers which get repetitive fairly quickly and dropping some of the lesser tracks would make the highlights stand out more. But there's no denying they're a talented threesome who can write a catchy song.

If you're a punk purist you probably hate this more than you hate infected safety pins but if you're just someone who likes a bit of rock it's a great listen. Whether you need the whole album or whether you're better off getting the highlights on International Superhits, their greatest hits package, is another story.

Highlight: When I come around
Lowlight: Coming Clean

Influenced by: Punk
Influenced: Teenagers who still don't know who The Clash are.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "I'll give this CD 1 star because Boulevard of Broken Dreams is a good song".

-This review was posted in 2005 and nobody has pointed out that Boulevard of Broken Dreams isn't actually on this album yet.

So is this true punk or young punks not playing punk? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. It is EXTREMELY melodic and I love every bit of this album. It's kind of like Weezer (The Blue Album) for me, but for 2012. I was ob-sessed with the Blue Album when I got it last year. Even though I am 17, the themes still don't relate to me, but, again, great great listen.