Stop Drop and Roll!!!
- Sixties Garage Pop
- Buy the CD
Reviewed by Jim Washington
Also, they’re Green Day.
And who can blame them for the subterfuge, really? Mike, Tré and Billie Joe were probably a bit tuckered out after creating American Idiot, the 2004 statement-of-purpose, voice-of-a-generation, all-around kick-ass protest album that managed to make the enfant terrible trio respectable. And how do you follow up something like that? We can only imagine the kind of pressure, from themselves, their fans and the rock press, that Green Day has been laboring under. So, they bashed out a bunch of short, sloppy songs influenced by heroes such as the Who, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, and, er, the Monkees. I’ve never produced a recognizable sound on a musical instrument, but I don’t guess there’s a more fun kind of music to play than this. You can almost play a “guess the riff” contest with the start of each three-minute-or-less gem here – “Summertime Blues”! “You Really Got Me”! “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone”! But somehow the band manages to make the sound its own.
The lyrics evoke such dangerous Nuggets-era themes as switchblades and strychnine, but Billie Joe can’t hide his charm and neediness as he begs “Mother Mary” to take his hand for a walk around the lake, while the rest of band “whoo whoos” and “ahh ahhs.” Everything from the album artwork to the band name (I would like to know where that came from, apart from aping such ridiculous monikers as Strawberry Alarm Clock) point to a band playing dress-up, but doing it exceptionally well. (And this isn’t even the first time they’ve done it: in 2003, Green Day performed some New Wave-y sets under the name Network. The next year, they put out Idiot.)
So, where do Green Day go from here? Those of us blown away by American Idiot are still waiting for a proper follow-up – but as long as this is how the boys are spending their time, we just can’t stay mad at them.