Green Day
Insomniac


4.0
excellent

Review

by YDload USER (16 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 44 replies | 7,108 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


1 of 2 thought this review was well written

Green Day- Insomniac

Billie Joe Armstrong- Guitars/Vocals
Mike Dirnt- Bass/Backing Vocals
Tre Cool- Drums

Released in 1995, this is Green Day's fourth album, and their first release following the mammoth, ground-breaking success of Dookie. As the story goes, Green Day was one of the more popular bands at their Berkeley punk hangout, 924 Gilman St., because their songs were less heavy and more catchy and accessible. Eventually, their two independently-released albums were selling faster than label Lookout Records could produce them, and the band had no choice but to sign to Reprise and "sell out" in the eyes of their punk peers.

When Dookie hit the mainstream, it was an instant success thanks to songs like "Longview" and "Basket Case." The backlash in the Berkeley punk community was immediate, and Green Day's anger at losing their street cred and local friends is evident in Insomniac, their angriest, fastest, shortest record to date (I think). The fourteen tracks clock in at about thirty-two minutes, so hold on tight for this review.

1. Armatage Shanks (2:16): The opening track starts off with some drums and then we get right to the lyrics. Reading the lyrics as they're sung from the booklet, you'll be surprised how fast Billie Joe gets through all of them and then repeats them again. This is a pretty typical Green Day song, so you're not missing much if you haven't heard it. 3.5/5

2. Brat (1:43): This is a pretty simple song about living with one's parents or something. Here we first hear the simplistic genius of Mike Dirnt's bass fills. They're not flashy, but Dirnt rarely takes a direct route from one root note to the next, opting instead to hit every note on the scale between the roots. Nifty and effective, but the song's just average. 3/5

3. Stuck With Me (2:15): This is more of a breakup song, despite the title. You can tell that the chorus is more of the sing-along-at-concerts type, and that's always what Green Day has done best. Plenty of backing vocals from Mike here, adding to the song's singalong quality. 3.5/5

4. Geek Stink Breath (2:15): As with the last album, Green Day chooses to place arguably its best track in slot number four. While this isn't as good as "Longview," I still feel it's the album's best. Bassists, learn the main riff and TRY not to play it every time you sit down. It's just that fun:

A-------1-2--------2--
E--2-2--------0-0-----

Repeat as necessary. This song was almost helped by a music video on MTV, but the graphic image of someone's tooth being pulled probably wasn't the best way to get this song out. Oh well, it's still my favorite. 5/5

5. No Pride (2:19): Now it's back to business as usual, unfortunately. Nothing special in this song, but it's not bad either. I just don't have any strong feelings about this song one way or the other. 3/5

6. Bab's Uvula Who? (2:08): This is one of the angriest songs on the album, with a forceful riff and a mumbly chorus that doesn't even appear in the lyric booklet. Rest assured it has something to do with the last line of every verse, "...and I get myself all wound up." It's one of the slightly more memorable tracks because honestly... what the hell does the title mean? 4/5

7. 86 (2:47): Now I know what this title means. It's mob lingo or something for killing someone: "I 86'd da bum!" they would say. But that's not a lyric or anything. I was just sayin'. More anthemic chorus from Billie and Mike: "There's no return from 86." That's an actual lyric, though. 4/5

8. Panic Song (3:35): The album's longest track. Starts off with some tremolo picking by the bass, rolling drums similar to "Longview" and some sparse guitar notes. By the time most of the album's songs have finished all the lyrics, this song has just started at the two-minute mark. You can feel how they definitely built up the song to something important, but you also knew in the back of your head that it would just be another Green Day song by the end. It's a good song still. 4.5/5

9. Stuart and the Ave. (2:03): Starts off with a neat bass intro, and we get a set of memorable lyrics: "Standing on the corner of Stuart and the Avenue/ Ripping up my transfer and a photograph of you." It's a break-up song for sure, but not the kid-friendly chorus you may expect. "Before it might have made some sense but now it's all fucked up!" Hooray, they're not really sellouts now! 4/5

10. Brain Stew (3:12): The album's most famous track, guided to success by a music video set in a garbage dump and the amazingly-easy music. This should be every instrumentalist's first complete song to learn, because once you have those five notes, you've got the entire song (guitarists may need to learn muting though). This song really highlights Billie Joe's incoherent singing style, because the radio/MTV never, EVER censors him when he says "Fucked up and spun out in my room."
The song ends in slow, plodding chaos, and leads directly into the next song. 4.5/5

11. Jaded (1:30): To compliment Brainstew's slowness, this track explodes right out the gate in Green Day's shortest, angriest, fastest song of their mainstream career. I love this song, and I love how MTV combined these two tracks into one single video. "There is no progress/Evolution killed it all/ I found my place in nowhere." Terrific, one of my favorite songs considering its length. 5/5

12. Westbound Sign (2:13): This is a song about finding a new beginning in California, as we all know we'd like to do someday. We're back to standard Green Day now, with plenty of bass fills by Mike and Billie Joe's mumbly yet melodic singing. 3.5/5

13. Tight Wad Hill (2:01): It's hard to tell exactly what this song's about (or maybe I don't care), but it doesn't disappoint when it comes to what you'd expect from Green Day. The chorus is Billie and Mike singing together, so that's another great quality all this band's songs seem to hold. 3.5/5

14. Walking Contradiction (2:31): This song was also released as a single and accompanied by a hilarious music video of stuff getting destroyed (How did that cop car hit the traffic light?). I never thought of it as an album closer, probably because it's also a single, but it fits fine it the album. This is the most political Green Day ever bothered to get before they decided to collaborate on Rock Against Bush, but I wouldn't blame them: their forte is pop songs. Like this one, which is another great example of their talent. 5/5

Well, that's the whole album for you. It's often overlooked by individual songs on other albums (like Longview on Dookie and Good Riddance on Nimrod), but the album as a whole has no real weaknesses; it's hard to point to one song and say it's the worst. Instead, it's much easier to pick out a few standout tracks and relegate the rest to mediocrity. If that's the kind of album you'd like, then you should definitely pick this one up. I consider it Green Day's second best after Dookie, so make of it what you will. This band knows how to make songs that place them above their genre's peers, most of whom just copy off them anyway. Believe it or not, this album gets a 4/5 from me, because it's just that good for its type.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
August 9th 2004



3553 Comments


A timely review, since I'm going to be seeing Green Day at the end of this month and I don't own any of their albums! (They're headlining Reading Festival.)

YDload
August 9th 2004



1207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aw thanks, but you reply to every album review. Is there any music you're NOT familiar with?

Iai
Emeritus
August 9th 2004



3553 Comments


[QUOTE=YDload]Aw thanks, but you reply to every album review. Is there any music you're NOT familiar with?[/QUOTE]

Oh no....people are always accusing me of being obsessed with music in real life, now it's started on the internet too! :upset:

I don't know many hardcore/screamo bands. That's a start. :lol:

Bartender
Emeritus
August 9th 2004



826 Comments


I've seen Green Day live, and they were terrible. They played a two hour set, but it was clear they only had enough really good material for about 45 minutes; the amount of stalling was unbelievable. Good review though, though this is the only album of theirs I haven't heard properly, so I can't say anything constructive.

Bartender
Emeritus
August 9th 2004



826 Comments


[QUOTE=Iai]
I don't know many hardcore/screamo bands. That's a start. :lol:[/QUOTE]

http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=193593

We'll have people back to calling you obsessed in no time.

Iai
Emeritus
August 9th 2004



3553 Comments


[QUOTE=Bartender]I've seen Green Day live, and they were terrible. They played a two hour set, but it was clear they only had enough really good material for about 45 minutes; the amount of stalling was unbelievable. Good review though, though this is the only album of theirs I haven't heard properly, so I can't say anything constructive.[/QUOTE]

Well, thanks to the joys of multiple stages, I can choose Green Day, Supergrass, or Squarepusher to close the festival. I'm actually leaning towards Squarepusher at the minute, but I'm not greatly familiar with any of those bands. I just know the singles. Or, in Squarepusher's case, a couple of mp3s I downloaded when I found out Andre 3000 was a fan.

Iai
Emeritus
August 9th 2004



3553 Comments


[QUOTE=Bartender]http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=193593

We'll have people back to calling you obsessed in no time.[/QUOTE]

Haha! Nice one Bartender. :thumb:

You know I'm sat here playing that Geek Stink Breath bassline over and over. Damn you, YD....

Bartender
Emeritus
August 9th 2004



826 Comments


Have you heard Tetra-sync by Squarepusher? I'd go and see them just on the off-chance that he/they'd play it. 9 minutes long, and the bass (YDload ) is stunningly fast, and just all-round cool.

And you're welcome. Can't have the Top 500 Review Monkey lacking in knowledge

Iai
Emeritus
August 9th 2004



3553 Comments


Yeah, Tetra-sync is one of the songs I downloaded. Excellent piece of work.

Kiedisfan69
August 10th 2004



42 Comments


Good Review, Good CD, 2 thumbs up, I like the songs, Brat, Geek Stink Breath, Stuart and the Avenue, and Walking Condriction best.

stke22
October 11th 2004



37 Comments


Nice review. Might pick it up when I buy American Idiot later this week!

br3ad_man
Emeritus
October 11th 2004



2125 Comments


I should buy this album just for the hell of it. I've got like 6 Green Day albums and I never listen to them. Yeah, I know Green Day are good, but they don't really do it for me much,

discodave
October 11th 2004



1 Comments


My favourite Green Day albums in order are (NOT including Shenanigans or International Superhits):

1. Nimrod
2. Dookie
3. Kerplunk
4. Insomniac
5. American Idiot (might move up the more I listen!)
6. 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours
7. Warning

Just my opinion! The top four are all quite close, all very good albums, especially if you like Green Day!

DrGolovaCroxby
October 12th 2004



2 Comments


a very detailed review. nice work.

and to the chap you said green day sucks live, i beg to differ. i saw them on the pop disaster tour, and it was one of the best live sets i've ever seen... and i've seen quite a few.

Dopester
October 13th 2004



3 Comments


nice review, if i didn't own this album already i'm sure i would know wat to expect :thumb:

jamieneil
October 14th 2004



2 Comments


Greenday F**king rock the world. I think they are f'ing awsome. Bring it on

Desensitized
August 18th 2005



136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Armatage Shanks deserves at least a 4.

But this is a great album, not as good as Dookie or what came after this, but it's a great listen.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2005



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I've seen Green Day live, and they were terrible. They played a two hour set, but it was clear they only had enough really good material for about 45 minutes; the amount of stalling was unbelievable. Good review though, though this is the only album of theirs I haven't heard properly, so I can't say anything constructive."



^^Oh come on! They're unbelievable live. They're better than most bands where all the members stand in one spot with a flat expression on their face (aka Killers, Simple Plan.) Green Day goes nuts when they play (Watch The Storytellers and watch Billie do St. Jimmy.)This Message Edited On 09.28.05

goblue1098
November 29th 2005



61 Comments


good review for one of the most underrated green day record ever. good job

Rudd13
November 29th 2005



952 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I used to think this was a very good record, and recieved 4 stars from me, but over time I've realized it kinda sucks.



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