I just love accidental chocolate goodness. Actually accidental music that accidentally ended up in my shopping cart and accidentally left Meijers with out anyone knowing. I never heard of a bluegrass tribute to the Californian punk band Green Day, although aware of the Pickin' On
series. As I mentioned, it somehow ended up in my shopping cart as I was shopping for paintball equipment. After I walked out and loaded my vehicle, I noticed this disc was at the bottom of my cart. Being the dishonest curious little boy inside, I kept it to give it a listen.
The Pickin' On series usually consist of standard country artist, giving the bluegrass treatment to a somewhat of a greatest hits selection. Such selections include Willie Nelson, Gretchin Wilson, Nickel Creek, Garth Brooks. But with a little research, I ended up finding out that it wasn't just country artist picked on. Selections include U2, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The White Stripes, Metallica etc... With even more research, I found out that there are over 100 albums got the bluegrass treatment. That may end up being excessive, but that cant deny the uniqueness of taking the challenge of Pickin' On Green Day
In case you've been living with your head under the ground over the last 12 years, Green Day is a pop punk band from California who formed in 1988 by Billie Joe, Mike Dirnt, and John. After recording their first album, John left the band and was replaced with friend Tre Cool. After a local following on their release of Kerplunk in 1992, record executives jumped to sign them, but only Reprise snabbed them to record their enormously famous major label debut Dookie. Green Day enjoyed quite standard success and expanding on their sound through their career until the release of the comeback album of 2004 with American Idiot, expanding their fanbase, while losing loyal fans due to their over exposure and image change. Green Day's sound has been influenced by bands such as The Ramones, The Clash, The Who, and local ska heroes Operation Ivy.
All songs performed by Honeywagon
and Cornbread Red
Yes, there are banjo solo's, a freakin' lot of them. Even in places where it don"t seem to fit. In Basket Case (Dookie), there is one oddly placed small solo right after the first chorus, after the line "Am I just paranoid, or am I just stoned." Even though its odd, it fits to the song nicely. There is an even larger solo, approximately 40 seconds long in the middle, plucking their away around the verse and chorus. The cover itself is upbeat and complements the original quite well. Coming Clean (Dookie) has hefty solo's also. Quite possibly one of the most up tempo tracks on here, as banjo's and mandolin are plucking all over the place.
Its nice to see that most of the songs weren"t straight ports. When I Come Around (Dookie) was taken from a solid pop-punk song to a touching soft ballad. The music throughout the entire song is moving and the soft vocals adds loads of emotion to the song. It flows well, and it even to manage throwing in a soft banjo solo towards the end. Time Of Your Life (Nimrod) starts off similar to the Green Day version. After the first chorus hits, the music changes and becomes an up tempo jam fest.
I didn't want to call this the bad section, since there technically isn"t any 'bad' songs on here. Just some that just seemed uninspired. Extraordinary Girl (American Idiot) itself is an interesting selection, since it was one of the weaker tracks on American Idiot. Even there is one of those unique banjo solo's in the middle of the song, as a whole, the music just plained seem uninspired. Major cool points were lost, as the songs were automatically edited by the vocalist.
Originally Posted by Nice Guys Finish Last
Tell me I'm insane, ohh I'm so happy I could cry.
Originally Posted by American Idiot
Mind true America
Nice Guys Finish Last (Nimrod) was lacking overall. Sounded more like an Hawaiian ukelele than a banjo. The vocals on the Cornbread Red era sounds like a Faygo version of Rascal Flatts. The song selection for the most part is a good selection, but not choosing anything off of Insomniac (notably Brain Stew) or Longview (Dookie) while choosing tracks like Extraordinary Girl and Coming Clean is quite frankly are poor decisions. Although the overall music on here is actually bluegrass, but it isn"t traditional
bluegrass. Bluegrass to me expresses emotion through the music. Without emotion, it just sounds like bluegrass influenced country music.
The overall production quality sounds pretty good, Coming from a completely unknown label, CMH.
The concept is completely original.
The banjo solo's rip any Slayer song a new one.
The cover for When I Come Around owns over the original. If that"s possible.
Time Of Your Life gives a nice uplifting face lift.
Edited by lyricist choice.
The music can sound uninspired.
The song selection is a bit weak, without Longview.
This Nice Guys Finish Last version was weak.
Its hard to recommend this to this to many people. Cause obviously its an acquired taste. I cant recommend this to fans of Green Day because the thought of banjo's can throw them away immediatly. Cant recommend this to any fans of bluegrass simply for the fact that I mentioned above about the lack of emotion. All I can do is recommend this to anyone that has an open mind to try something new.
Maybe I should give Fade To Bluegrass: A Tribute To Metallica
a shot, and not steal it this time.
The Sludge's Thumb Ups:
When I Come Around
Time Of Your Life