Review Summary: Serving as a faux-greatest hits from the trilogy and a compilation of demos including a previously unreleased track, Demolicious does a decent enough job of reminding everyone that the infamous Green Day trilogy really wasn't that bad.
Everything leading up to Green Day’s infamous trilogy – from the announcement of the albums titled as sequential Spanish numbers, each containing at least 12 tracks with their own separate music themes, to the faces of each band member shamelessly plastered on the album arts resulting in some of the most aesthetically unappealing cover arts in music history – pointed to it being the final nail(s) in Green Day’s long-overdue coffin. Even the most die-hard of fans were dubious that the band were planning another bombastic project after the hopelessly harmless flop 21st Century Breakdown
. What seemed like an inevitable disaster, however, ended up providing some of Green Day’s most honest material in years. ¡Uno!
was about as straightforward as you can get – cheesy pop punk hooks, formulaic song structures, and Billie Joe Armstrong crooning utterly meaningless lyrics above it all (he seriously stopped trying at this point). ¡Dos!
was a mildly successful attempt at capturing the unabashed nature of garage rock, and ¡Tré!
was their shot at an epic finale, and surprisingly succeeded more often than not. These pseudo-experimental albums also confirmed most people’s doubts by having some of the worst songs the band have ever written, some descending into truly awful territory (“Nightlife,” “Kill the DJ,” “Makeout Party,” “Nightlife”
Green Day’s newest release, Demolicious
, serves as somewhat of a greatest hits from the trilogy, including one previously unreleased track recorded during those sessions. They’re all labeled as “demos,” but sonically there are very little differences, if any, between these tracks and their studio album counterparts, aside from the edgier production, occasional screams from Billie Joe (not as audacious as “Take Back” but still refreshing), and random throwaway banter at the end of some songs. The only “new” track on Demolicious
is “State of Shock,” a previously unreleased demo, understandably, since it’s as woefully banal as you can possibly imagine Green Day being. The thing is, as boring and repetitive as it is, it’s not an inherently bad song. “Ashley,” “Oh Love,” and “Angel Blue,” all appearing on this compilation, have qualities that make them perfectly decent radio rock songs; they just lack the vitality and sonic recklessness that make Green Day fun to listen to (which is really the only reason to listen to them to be honest). As a faux-greatest hits record, Demolicious
does a fine job of showing off some of the best sides of the trilogy. The first four tracks on ¡Uno!
make an appearance; “Stay the Night” twice – once as a demo and another as a stripped down acoustic version – and highlights “Stray Heart” and “Missing You” represent ¡Dos!
respectively. Unfortunately, the acoustic “Stay the Night” closes the compilation out on a dismal note, desperately trying to sound honest and heartfelt but ultimately lacking the raw emotion necessary to pull off an acoustic ballad. Not to mention that the unpolished production and Billie’s blatant disregard for intonation does the song little favors.
Bassist Mike Dirnt said, “this is how [the trilogy] would have sounded if we were still on Lookout Records,” which is a fair assessment since this is the closest they’ve come to sounding like Kerplunk
since then, as far as the production and overall energy goes. If you enjoyed the trilogy, Demolicious
provides a welcome change of pace from the squeaky clean production of the studio albums (that means no treble-heavy ear-piercingly sharp guitars from ¡Uno!
). Musically however, the differences are so miniscule it’s hardly worth the time – download “State of Shock” if you’re a completist and call it a day. Realistically Demolicious
does nothing for the name of Green Day, but functioning as both an unintentional greatest hits album and a compilation of demos, it does a decent enough job of reminding everyone that the trilogy wasn’t that