Review Summary: ‘Ingenuity’ is a foreign word to Green Day.
Green Day’s plans to release a trio of albums within months of each other that saw the group returning to the more energetic simplicity of their youth was a decision that will really bring nothing but faulty results. At this point in their careers, a move such as this is nothing but back-tracing for the band, a devolution that inevitably leads to material inferior to that of the both the albums from back in their prime, and their more mature work of recent years. What was seen on ¡Uno!
earlier this year was a very fun, but admittedly haphazard regurgitation of what the band once was before.
It’s obvious that Green Day’s choice was to release very simple music for mindless and careless fun, but that’s just all these songs have proven to be so far, simple music that was obviously churned out in minutes flat. Choosing to release three albums worth of this type of music is a generous offering to fans who may be left desiring more after one album of very quick punk that goes by in a flash, but from any other perspective, hyping three separate albums within short times of each other that are all comprised of brief music that was planned to sound far too much alike seems like a ridiculously unnecessary pursuit.
A single album of Green Day going back to basics for the fun of it would have been sufficient enough, but that is not the case, and here audiences are with the second installment in the band’s pop punk trilogy, ¡Dos!
. The album proves to be quite the contrast to ¡Uno!
’s polished production and poppy-flavor, as Green Day displays a very raw and garagey style that’s more reminiscent of classic jam rock such as The Rolling Stones than it is The Clash or Ramones. This is without a doubt the grittiest Green Day has ever been, but that isn’t really a quality that helps that album, as the atmosphere is just plain muddy and all around unattractive.
The appeal isn’t heightened very much by Billie Joe Armstrong’s asinine lyrics and vulgar subject matter. Armstrong’s drowsily careless delivery of verses as ridiculously bizarre as “Do you wanna play a game of Twister / Like a dirty old man with a babysitter?” on “Lady Cobra”, and “I wanna manhandle your holy grace / I want to choke you till you’re blue in the face” on the aptly titled “F*ck Time” aren’t the examples of the glory days punk rock attitude that they may have intended to be, and are just juvenile and hilariously absurd.
is made up of songs that are barely distinguishable from one another; all being composed of the same exact riffs recycled from Green Day’s debut over 20 years ago that drone on for what seems like hours, despite the average song’s running time being about 3 minutes. Green Day have actually accomplished making an album that flies by in a flash, and yet somehow drags on in mind-numbing monotony as well. The mindlessly quick pace whizzes past listeners and blurs into every track, making for an album where it’s hard to remember even a single track after both the first and second listen through, let alone tell the tracks apart from each other.
This is the bare bones of Green Day’s signature sound at its bare minimum, and even though there are some notably grungy and well performed guitar solos to be found, as well as some interesting experiments with noise rock-ish guitar feedback, these aspects simply come and go without taking these songs that have no creative angles in any interesting direction, or altering the effect of the songs in general, and in the end are engulfed in ¡Dos!
’s dull void of tedium all the same.
Arguably the lowest point on the album where all hope for any redeeming qualities is diminished is the song “Nightlife", where Armstrong drearily mumbles in a seemingly intoxicated daze out of what sounds like some voice filter used on the psychedelic records of the 60's, while female rapper Lady Cobra takes to the chorus and creates a senseless and obscure song with no clear direction or purpose.
When it comes down to it, the fact is that music as simple as this (when it doesn’t offer aggressive fury) is enjoyable because it has a fun spirit, and ¡Dos!
just doesn’t feel very fun at all in any way, so much as it does ugly and crude. There's really not a single thing about ¡Dos!
that's worth returning to, and that just makes the release of ¡Tré!
in the near future all the more daunting.