Green Day
Bullet In A Bible


3.0
good

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
February 16th, 2006 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


The background of Bullet In a Bible is pretty well known. Green Day plays Milton Keynes, 65,000 people show up two days in a row; Green Day rocks them like it's 1999. Riding the monumental success of American Idiot, Green Day accurately got it into their heads that people will buy a live album of theirs. Unfortunately, the DVD does not include some of their best songs they played, instead focusing on the new hits that the world is sick of. Bullet In A Bible is just another tool to push Green Day's best-selling album ever, American Idiot. I have seen them live, and they drove the crowd nuts with punk classics like Jaded and She, but unfortunately these songs are cut to make room for the documentary portion of the DVD. In short, Bullet In A Bible is a fans-only release from Green Day, including many favorites and a documentary with usually useless but sometimes hilarious insights into what makes the biggest rock band in the world tick.

The problem with Green Day's live performance is that it includes a shitload of schmaltz and stalling. For example, vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong at one point or another: puts his hand down his pants, humps the stage, moons the audience, gets the crowd to cheer with a mere flick of his e string, and about 10 out of 14 songs include Billie getting the crowd to dey-oh with him. Now granted, this is mildly amusing when actually being there, but on the DVD it gets annoying and gives people wrong ideas about Green Day. When seeing them in person, Billie cuts the crap and plays his songs. The DVD includes all of Green Day's schmaltzy songs. Classics of American culture, like Hitchin' A Ride and Minority are ruined because of Billie toying with the crowd. And does anyone really need a 4 minute band introduction, when "Jaded" will suit just fine? I don't think so.

When looking past the irritating stalling, however, one finds excellent quality music, an attest to Green Day's musical talent. How many bands out there do you know who have great songs on their album, but when they perform live, they sound like crap? With Green Day, this is not the case. Through the running around and screwing with the audience, Billie Joe maintains his voice, sounding even better doing the gutting chorus of Boulevard Of Broken Dreams then his rants during [i]American Idiot[i/]. While Billie does occasionally play the wrong notes, due to the jumping and running, it's forgettable. My only beef is that is the first three tracks, the uncharismatic Jason White's guitar is turned up light-years over Billie Joe's, leading to solos where the entire bottom drops out. It's a spirit killer. But, Green Day seems to fix this problem by the time Longview comes around, and Green Day's live musical ability really gets pretty top-notch. This sets Green Day apart from imitators like Sum 41 and Blink 182, whose songs just get annoying after a few listens.

Green Day's best work comes when Billie Joe cuts the bull*** and just goes for it. They absolutely nail the only true classic off of American Idiot, Jesus Of Suburbia because there are no Billie Joe dey-oh's, no chatting up the audience, just straight music. Other than Billie Joe's annoying habit of slipping city names into songs (It was actually rather funny trying to hear him slip "New Jersey" into the line "From Anaheim To The Middle East"), Jesus Of Suburbia lacks the jackass antics that drag down so many songs of Bullet In A Bible. Unfortunately, Green Day only resolve to do that in one other song, the still-paranoia inducing Basket Case. Arguably Billie Joe's best song ever (kinda sucks when you peak at album 3), Basket Case is a classic not to be bogged down. Green Day acknowledges the respect that song deserves, and it's hard to work a song all about loud and fast to be fodder for faux masturbation. The punk masterpiece also gives Britain time to prove they don't have any concept of time whatsoever. When Billie Joe lets the crowd sing "It All Keeps Adding Up/ I Think I�m Cracking Up", the Londoners get to about the word "Adding" when Green Day, who's still in perfect time, jump back in. Other than that, Basket Case proves Green Day still has the punk spirit and that they don't have to resort to drastically smaltzy measures to put on a good show.

Now in all the hullabaloo of Billie Joe being a jackass, the other band members appear to be lost. And it's true. Billie Joe not only lauds the concert with crap antics that put all the attention on him, but he gets all the footage time in the documentary as well ("These chicks don't even know the name of my band...")! The few times we look into the minds of Green Day's "other guys" we get to really see the talent they produce as a band in general. Bassist Mike Dirnt and Drummer Tre Cool are the real reason Green Day is so popular, especially when they get into the old stuff. Dirnt's on-stage persona is that of a caged tiger, rarely leaving his post on stage left, but from the back of the audience, one can still see his neck veins bursting out of his head. His ultimate achievement is still, and probably will continue to be Longview, where his tone and accuracy carry the song. His basswork is what made early Green Day so excellent, like that catchy little G-String hit at the beginning of Basket Case or his fist-pumping southern bass-line in punk classic Minority. His back-up vocals, a vastly underrated part of his contributions, shine brightly on Bullet. His backup is quite versatile, going from the scary shrieks of Brain Stew, the gentle coos of Dearly Beloved, or the anarchist shouts of Hitchin A Ride. In the documentary, he seems like a man very upset at the world, not surprising considering his troubled upbringing, and when he gets on stage, it seems to all come out of him. A man on a mission.

Tre Cool on the other hand, is the exact opposite. He is the drummer in Green Day. He snorts doughnut sprinkles. He is an utter goofball, whether making countless faces at the camera, shrieking at the top his lungs "I AM SO BEAUTIFUL!" or just relaxing and making up fun little diddy's about marijuana. And yes, for those who are wondering, he wrote "Rock And Roll Girlfriend", the funniest portion of American Idiot. Mike describes him as 100% drummer. And that's so true. His drumming is way beyond what many punk drummers of today could do, as highlighted by the Dookie selections again, and the awesome interlude between Brain Stew and what would be Jaded. His drum fills never jump out of time, his beats are excellent... what happened? Bullet In A Bible really shows how far the mighty hath fallen in terms of songwriting. Tre's old stuff was insane, like the Travis Barker of his day. Now it's just 1-2-3-4 stuff with nigh a drum fill to be had. Perhaps Bullet can serve as a wake-up call to the kids who need to know what Green Day really is, not the musically bland songs off American Idiot, but the epic punk classics they could produce one after the other.

So now you're updated on Mike and Tre, its back to the music. Some portions off Bullet In A Bible can be absolutely epic. Unfortunately, due to crap stage antics, no song can ever be just breathtaking. Nevertheless, there have been moments in Bullet where I've said the word "Wow", and I won't be afraid to admit it. The showers of sparks that rain down during the solo of overplayed song number 839, Wake Me Up When September Ends, are truly a sight to see. It's a personal song for Billie, the first time he's acknowledged his father's passing (NOT A POLITICAL SONG). Billie really plays it with emotion, looking close to tears as he sings it. It's probably fake emotion considering it's coming off King For a Day and a very fun rendition of Shout, in which Billie Joe moons the audience, humps the stage, Tre wears a pink woman's hat, and Mike gets punched out by a trombone with a boxing glove, but still, it's nice to watch. Also when Billie Joe gets on with Hitchin A Ride, after a 5 minute too long chatting session with the Brits, it's awesome. The yelling of "***" at the top of his lungs and the pyrotechnics going off over a head-bustingly distorted guitar solo... agh! just brilliant. Honorable mention goes to whenever Green day uses pyrotechnics.

Much ado was made over the documentary and how it would explain Green Day and blah blah blah, but it's so not true. All we get to hear is Billie Joe passing down what sounds like wisdom, or it could be him just talking about nothing. Green Day goes to a museum to do... nothing. We get to see the people of England make asses of themselves and try to be Billie Joe Armstrong, and accomplishing... nothing. The documentary also proves what a jackass Samuel Bayer is, and includes some thrilling segments of the stage getting put up. Other than a hilarious Tre Cool-oriented segment, the documentary is just a waste of time.

OVERALL

While Bullet In A Bible will prove a treat for the semi-diehard Green Day fan, the common man will find it shallow and most of it boring. Billie Joe's stage antics are so annoying and intrusive, and the supposed barrier breaking documentary is a cheese fest. The music quality is excellent for a live show, however, and portions of it can range from hilarious to gut-wrenching. Green Day's live show is oriented straight for the fans, undoubtedly, and fans will enjoy this. It doesn't have a great amount of replay value however, and I got bored with it two weeks after Christmas. It's a buy for Green Day fans, but if you're just casual, go get something else.

Grade: C+

Recommended Tracks

Jesus Of Suburbia
Longview
Basket Case
King For A Day/Shout
Wake Me Up When September Ends


Pros

Great quality music
Epic portions
Hooray for pyrotechnics
Tre Cool
Mike Dirnt

Cons

Crap on-stage antics
A worthless band introduction segment
Documentary is boring and quite skippable
Billie Joe Armstrong

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Comments:Add a Comment 
itastelikeink
February 16th 2006


27 Comments


wtf happened to green day? if they were doing fine a couple of years ago, why did they have to change. i went to a concert of a local band named flash grenade, and they were skilled, but i think the show was ruined by the whole rendition of jesus of suburbia. long, drawn-out, annoying, repetitious, and i wanted to leave, but they werent a bad band. i never saw a band live where the drummer sang. props to him. and the bassist had wierd hair, and it was mesmerising.

mx
Moderator
February 16th 2006


733 Comments


Green Day simply adapted to what they thought could sell - it used to be silliness and carefree, and now its political, dramatic, and rebellious.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2006


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^That's probably the best description of what's happened to them I've heard on this site.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

The Sludge
February 16th 2006


2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really enjoyed reading your GD reviews, but there is one BIG opps. American Idiot wasnt their best selling album. Dookie still is by over double. But still, nice.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2006


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Im pretty sure American Idiot is their best selling album, maybe not all time, but during the first couple weeks.

Anything on the review? It's a redo, because my original comeback review was lost in the crash.

Arucard
February 16th 2006


575 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Well written review, but saying that Greenday are musically talented in anyway is pushing it i'm afraid.

pulseczar
February 16th 2006


2385 Comments


Good review, though you should run it through a spell check. From what I've seen of this concert, it's just a bunch of self-obsessed on-stage wankery.

fisky009
February 16th 2006


813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Its an ok dvd, but itsa one of those cases where you have to be there to enjoy it

I was, I found it great

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2006


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The spelling is fixed, Galapogos thank you.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2006


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wow no one's even voted on it yet. Dead day at Sputnik.

Storm In A Teacup
February 16th 2006


13161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sadly, that last comment from you, MusicOfficial, got you a neg vote from some idiot, but I will counteract it with a positive vote because this was a good review, and I felt sorry for you having to re-write it too. ;)

Zmev
February 16th 2006


983 Comments


I dont dig green day and all, but that was a pretty good review.

francesfarmer
February 16th 2006


1477 Comments


Dude, Punk is dead.

The Sludge
February 17th 2006


2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sorry bout not commenting on the review, it was really well written, but American Idiot was the faster selling album if thats what you mean. During the DVD they show'd the playlist and the songs they chosen was sorta crap.

Punk music isnt dead, its evolved into even smaller sub genres. If you judge punk music on the mainstream you'll be disappointed, if you listened to Circle Jerks and Dead Kennedys.

EmoQueen
February 17th 2006


6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Punk is hardcore! , we all have diff opinions soo just agree
but we all got brought up diff soo we wont have alot in commen :D

Two-Headed Boy
February 17th 2006


4527 Comments


^^^huh??? you don't know anything about punk do you?This Message Edited On 02.17.06

itastelikeink
February 17th 2006


27 Comments


The Casualties are punk. Green Day is shit music. they are right with Relient K. Somehow everyone thinks they are punk or anything close, and they arent. they fucking suck. and thats the point of having different opinions and having a site devoted to different poinoins, so people can post them, and if everyone would, "just agree" the site would have no purpose.

fisky009
February 17th 2006


813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^Fair point, but its good to tell people their full of s***.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2006


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Someday, itastelikeink, you will have to inform me of this remarkable new genre you have founded. I'm absolutely inspired by your originality and openness. We must chat about shit music at some point, I'm really quite intrigued.

Zesty Mordant
February 20th 2006


1196 Comments


The Casualties are punk. Green Day is **** music.


The Casualties are arguably just as much of an "image-obssessive" as Green Day is. Probably more so. Interestingly enough, The Casualties are probably one of the worst punk bands I've heard in a long time. Yeah, they're "punk", but that doesn't make them good.

Somehow everyone thinks they are punk or anything close, and they arent.


Breezing through the comments here, it appears that more people hold your view, that those who think they are "punk".

they ****ing suck. and thats the point of having different opinions and having a site devoted to different poinoins, so people can post them, and if everyone would, "just agree" the site would have no purpose.


Yes, but your opinions are baseless



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