Green Day, are they here right now? Even before lead guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong had a breakdown during the iHeartRadio Festival, the band seems to be drifting from its core values.
When “¡Uno!” was released on Sept. 25, it had some great song, maybe one, but overall, it was a disappointing album to start off their trilogy. Now Green Day is faced with another attempt to reassure fans, pre- and post-”Dookie” era, of their punk status when they released “¡Dos!” on Nov. 13. Green Day is still here, barely.
Although it could have been better, “¡Dos!” has enough rhythm and stamina for people to forget how “¡Uno!” damaged their souls for the sake of “Oh Love.” This 13-track album has an equal balance for both diehards and fans that started paying attention to them after their politically-charged album, “American Idiot.”
If true fans admire Green Day, they will admire the soft introduction the album starts with “See You Tonight.” Despite its slow, folk beat, it is just Green Day’s way of saying, “Wait jerks; it gets better.”
After an awkward transition from a couple songs saying that they will “choke you ‘til your blue in the face” and “make you surrender,” one song has a vibe that sympathizes with people who are tired of drama, “Lazy Bones.”
No matter what the chaos is, even one that is irrelevant and tries to drag people in, there is always someone who is thinking “I don’t want to hear about it; I don’t want to scream about it; I don’t to hear it anymore.”
Whenever Green Day tries an experimental move, whether it is an album or a single, this is when some fans hold their breath, praying to punk-Jesus that they do not screw this up. However, they did a great job with the miniature story when some unlucky schmuck meets “Lady Cobra.”
She may be a unique girl, giving someone chills and fever blisters while being lost in temptation; however, she shows her true colors in “Nightlife,” a basic warning of her manipulative control. With the right amount of whiskey shakes, she will turn him into her clown, telling him, “I run the show; and only when I tell ya; will it be time to go.”
There are a few songs in this album that urges fans to repeat what Billie Joe said during the iHeartRadio Festival after being admitted to rehabilitation: “You’ve got to be f**kin’ me!”
It is understandable that Green Day’s main objective is to revert back to their punk, teenage years but that does not gave an excuse to repeat their work. When fans listen to “Wild One,” it sounds like a slower, boring version of “Extraordinary Girl” from “American Idiot.”
One song that had potential of being one of the best songs in the album was “Stray Heart” but it was destroyed by an awkward, pop beat that first had diehards suspect Green Day is heading towards mainstream music. Lyrics like “everything that I want, I want from you; but I just can’t have you” have great meaning but it is damaged by a rhythm that makes fans want to bash their heads on the wall to forget this awful sound.
The problem with Green Day’s mission to satisfy old and new fans is that it is impossible, since time they will always be forced to make a decision on who goes first. The way that their last three albums have been expressed makes it seems that they are more willing to satisfy the new era of so-called punk fans that cannot go through a day without whining over ridiculous drama while drinking a Frappuccino.
With “¡Dos!” bringing in some life to this mediocre trilogy, fans will be expecting a do-or-die moment when “¡Tré!” is released Jan. 15.
Green Day may still be alive, somewhere.
Alex Forbess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.