Green Day jumped onto the mainstream bandwagon in the early nineties with Dookie, but after releasing their next album, Insomniac, it was clear that the band was becoming quickly stale. As with the currently infamous American Idiot, Green Day did try something new. They started thinking outside the box, including strings, acoustics, and even a harmonica for their next album, Nimrod.
The variety on Nimrod is what makes it great. It was something that was completely uncommon for the bands two records before it. Take Back
is something that no fan would have expected from Green Day. For the most part, it is a seemingly metal song, but it’s really something along the lines of regular punk. There’s nothing complex in the song, regular chords are used, but the lyrics might even be more shocking than the music within the song. “You pushed me once too far again, I'd love to break your ***ing teeth. I’ll stick a knife in the center of your back. You better grow some eyes in the back of your head. I fight dirty, just like your looks. Can't take, can't take, I can't take anymore.”
Billie’s vocal job on the song is low, and fast. At the chorus, “Take back, take back, take”
Billie does a low growl, but isn’t actually screaming, however. It’s rather a very cool song, and I wish Green Day would write more songs such as it. Time Of Your Life
was perhaps Green Day’s most recognized song before the American Idiot album was released. It’s a straightforward acoustic song that has a catchy rhythm to it, and the use of strings in the song helps to ever keep it from becoming repetitive. What I get out of the song is that everything well turn out right in the end, and people should enjoy life while they can. The single Hitchin’ A Ride
first made it clear that Green Day was attempting to do something new, and it worked out for them. Like in the video, the song gives off something reminiscent of a marching beat in the verse, and pre-chorus. Walking Alone
’s a laid back song that uses a harmonica that is present throughout a lot of the song! Other than that though, the song is standard Green Day with some nice, but standard vocals from Billie.
Some songs are still regular Green Day, but still seem fresh. Scattered
is standard Dookie, and is my personal favorite of the album. It’s slightly like another song on this album titled Redundant
, but is a tad catchier. Nice Guys Finish Last
was a fairly cool single for the band, with a rather neat video in which the band perfoms in a football stadium (P.S. the setlist Billie reveals on it is the same for a set he played in Mexico that is available on the internet). The bass playing in the beginning of the song, and the progressing one near the end that is slightly hidden both help keep the song in check. Platypus (I Hate You)
is one of Green Day’s more punk-rock songs, and has some simple, yet guitar playing, and solid drumming. The vocals in parts of the song even reminds me of Take Back
. There are only two songs for the whole of Nimrod that I would ever think of being below a great rating. King For A Day
seems more filler than not, but Mikes fun bass line that goes through the whole song, and Billie’s chanting of “King for a day, princess by dawn. King for a day in a leather thong. King for a day, princess by dawn.”
causes the song to be memorable in the listeners mind, but still gets old rather quickly. It seems with Last Ride In
that the band was trying to create something of a surfer interlude to divide the album up, which would have been fine, if they hadn’t made it almost four-minutes long. The sounds of waves beating along the beach are heard, and there is some average instrumentation, but it drags out forever, and feels almost redundant.
The instrumentation for the album was still simple for the most part, but because of many songs not sounding so much the same as Insomniac did, Green Day created a rather impressive album. There’s almost no filler for the whole song, and Mike Dirnt’s bass playing particularly stands out. Tre’ Cool was beginning to stick back in the background not playing as many fills, but still had one, or two moments to shine. Billie Joe’s vocals are interesting, and without a doubt is fairly snotty sounding. This doesn’t compare to the greatness of Dookie, but is certainly the bands second best album to date.