Seasoned Vets Green Day Deliver More Pop-Punk Hits with ¡Dos!
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Trilogies in the film world are as common as can be, but it is a rare and rather exciting occurrence to see one sprout from the music industry. The 25 year legacy of Green Day continues with the release of their newest body of work. The three-part series of albums, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tre!, is all coming out within a short period of five months, with 38 brand new Green Day songs for fans to revel in.
This week, ¡Dos!, the second installation of the trilogy, has been released for public consumption. It maintains the punk rock sound that has defined Green Day’s sound and at the same time serves as an important chapter in this new conceptual project. Band members Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt admit that making three records was a crazy idea, but one that according to them was “crazy enough to pull off.” Armstrong says the three are very much interconnected, and while they all sustain a consistent style, each one possesses a different thematic purpose. ¡Uno!, released earlier this semester, was a tribute to their classic style. ¡Dos! has a party-like feel to it, with a more garage rock vibe that turns said “party” into an intense, almost out-of-control experience.
Party-gone-too-far is the exact energy that can be grasped from this second installation of the trilogy, and this is meant in the most positive way possible. The record starts off with a one-minute soft introductory song called “See You Tonight” that is the perfect buildup for what is to come. If the album alludes to a party, this initial song is the feeling of electrified expectation one gets before a much-awaited night out. It eases into the second song, “F**k Time,” completely seamlessly. The party has officially begun, and the songs that follow are just as much reflections of Green Day’s beloved punk rock history as they are a breath of fresh air for the band. Straight through, the sound is just as youthful as it has always been, perhaps even a little grittier. The lyrics do not reflect the level of political involvement that has been associated with Green Day in the past, but rather focus on people and are inspired by everyday life events. Even though it lacks social commentary like the precedent album American Idiot, this new subject matter works.
With every song, the instruments hit the exact notes that our ears are craving to hear. The consistent noisy guitar in the background reminds the listener of the angst and disquietude of a young generation. The melodic mid-album track “Stray Heart” is an instant favorite. A catchy tune with a chorus that is impossible not to sing along to, this song has a gratifying and uplifting vibe—almost a little too romantic for Green Day, but still very welcome. The song right after it, though, gets right back into the dirty sound that we are used to. “Ashley” is edgy and fast-paced, with lyrics worth paying attention to.
All the songs lead up to the absolute highlight of the album: the 11th track, titled “Nightlife.” This tune gets away from everything fans have come to expect from this timeless trio. Instead of a punk rock, fast-paced and chorus driven anthem, we hear a dark, crazed, off-the-rails sound. It alludes to the sensory climax of a hallucinatory night. The incredibly low-pitched guitar riff only adds to this illusory mood. The most interesting part of the track is the special vocal participation of singer Lady Cobra. Her contribution works exceptionally well, especially when their voices begin to overlap near the end of the song with a phrase that encompasses this whole delirious feeling. Billie Joe chants, “Is it just me or am I going crazy?” to which her voice replies in a debauched haze: “It’s just you.”
¡Dos! proves to be an absolute success, which only makes audiences eager for what is coming next on ¡Tre!. If this album was the party, the next is rumored to be the hangover ... and what an undoubtedly pleasant hangover it shall be.