After Green Day broke through and became a huge success with Dookie, they wanted to try something new. The result of this was Insomniac. Insomniac is a fun album, probbly for diehard fans for myself only. Fans of indie punk and the types who hate Green Day because they're popular will probbly not like this album. I am a diehard GD fan, so I enjoyed this album. Call it bias, call it whatever you want, but there's really no denying this is a very enjoybale album.
1. Armatage Shanks- A very nifty llittle opener, Armatage Shanks begins with some great drumming from Tre. However, the verses fail to live up. They sound quite generic like.... well every other Green Day song before Nimrod. The song does set some themes though for the album, like some fantastic bass work by Mike Dirnt, and some power chord riffs from Billie. The vocals are nothing to really pay attention to until te middle of the song where Billie and Mike pull out some whoa-oh's, something they avoided on Dookie. Instrumentally, cheers to Mike and Tre, but Billie's role in the song leaves a bit to be desired.
2. Brat- For those of you with Nimrod, this song sounds a bit like The grouch. This song is about a kid sittin round waitin for his inheritance. More great bass here, which will be a very common theme in the album. Generic writing and guitar from Billie. Possibly a skip track, I mean some people like this stuff, its not my favorite personally.
3. Stuck With Me- I love this song. This is a great, upbeat punk anthem with harder guitars, faster drums, and much better vocals. This song keeps a ferocious tempo going with a great chorus and verses that are far better than the previous two songs. The solo also does not disappoint with Mike doing what he does best, making the bass interesting. The only knock on it is that it's 2 15 long, but they're a 2 15 well spent.
4. Geek Stink Breath- Here's another highlight. This may sound strange, but when i heard this song on International Superhits, I saw it as a skip track. Yet for some reason, I guess I like this song more in the Insomniac concept. Yeah weird I know. The verses are ok, not my favorite. The bass prowess displayed in the previous trio of songs is absent from this song, but Billie makes up for it by putting his lazy-bum sounding lyircs to good use. The chorus is much better with the anthematic cheer "Im on a roll, No self control, falling asleep with meth-amphetamine". I can see why someone would not like it though. Kinda repetetive I must admit.
5. No Pride- This is pure filler right here. The guitar riff is one that makes u say, ok how many ways can they mix this chord triangle together? Billie made this song really generic. The bass and drums come back though, which is a plus to this song. But the verses are pointless and indiscernable, with no chorus to make up for them.
6. Bab's Uvula Who?- Quite possibly the strangest song title in the history of the world. The song is awesome, though with some great stop go action from Billie and Mike. Again Mike lives up to his role as greatest punk bassist around today, with some fancy work. Billie cranks it out with "I got a knack for ****in everything up." and the common cry of All Wound Up. No Chorus to speak of. The song is quite catchy and not one to skip. The solo is really just making the verse harder, but it sounds very good. Not a skip track.
7. 86- 86 uses the classic power chord triangle again, though this time in more of a conventional, more enjoyable way. Words make no sense whatsoever, which detracts from the verse a bit, but the palm muting for once is a nice change. Great work instrumentally form the rhythm section again. The chorus is the best part with another anthem-like cry of "There's no return from 86". Still no sense whatsoever, but still one that makes some people i know think wow, the number 86 is really cool. Fine song.
8. Panic Song- At this point of the record, it's like wow, the bass and drums are really good, so why dont we show off that. Mike plays the same note at breakneck speed with Tre doing a fantastic drumroll right behind him. The Guitar doesnt overshadow the work going on behind it, but it provides the needed melody over it. The minute and a half solo climaxes at the minute mark where the guitar doesnt stop playing and you feel the tension rise to something brilliant and angry. Then Billie Sings, and the song loses everything it was building up for. The solo is the real reason to listen to the song, though, it's quite fantastic.
9. Stuart and the Avenue- Thanks to Mike for making the intro intersting with more great bassing. The intro doesnt drag when the guitar starts which is welcome cuz the guitar is not very good. Billie's ode to lost love. It's not a great song really. Billie cries we're all f*ed up at the end and yer like that wasnt really that good. This is a filler track.
10. Brain Stew- Now you "diehard" Green Day fans out there will kill me for saying this, but Brain Stew is not a bad song. You don't have to skip it. Sure it's repetetive and really has no direction, but come on that is one catchy riff that will be stuck in your head. Billie's vocals are it's best here I feel since he needs to really do all the work. Instrumentally, well, lets just say this is the reason people argue anyone can be Green Day. It's the same riff over and over again. This is Billie's voice's time to shine and it gets you through 3 minutes until the riff explodes and leads into Jaded.
11. Jaded- Jaded is a furious punk anthem that runs around with indiscernable verses and an angry, rebellious chorus of "Always move forward/ Going straight will get you nowhere/There is no progress/Evolution killed it all/ Ive found my place in nowhere." When you read the verses in the booklet, you can appreciate the song better. Nice work instrumentally here too. Mike doesnt do his fills like normal but Tre plays extremely fast and Billie makes an old riff interesting again by putting it under a great punk melody of vocals.
12. Westbound Sign- HEre's where Green Day falls into the same trap as they did on Dookie. The next to last 3 songs on that album were pure fillers and no difference here except the next to last two are pure fillers. Same powerchord triangle. Mike plays his bass great to the bone (Notice his bass is really at it's best on songs that are boring in guitar and vocals). The song is hard to pay attention to cuz it's rally boring and the vocals leave much to be desired.
13. Tight Wad Hill- Hmm.... Lets play the same song faster and put a new title on it and you have Tight Wad Hill. Billie please we've heard this song at least once on every album. Fine drumming though. And it's over quickly which is good.
14. Walking Contradiction- Lyrically, Billie is in his writing prowess as he gives some very clever metaphors about selling out. Musically however, the song is boring. Fine bassing, but the guitar is repetetively numbing and the drums aren't special. It's a disappointing ending to the album. No soft song to be seen here as there was in Kerplunk (Words I might have Ate) or Dookie (FOD).
Overall this is a fun album. You'll see yer highlights and youll skip the fillers. To give you a sense of the album, It's better than Warning but it's not better than Nimrod, AI, or Dookie. A must have for the diehard GD heads out there, but a passover for the casual fan looking to get into the California Trio.
Furious punk anthems
Fantastic work done by the rythym section
The lead in to Panic Song
Billie writes the same song over again and tweaks it to make a "new" song sometimes.
Unlike Nimrod, your getting the best of this album by purchasing International Superhits.
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