Consequence of Sound. Green day tre


¡tré! - Wikipedia

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Green Day - '¡Tré!' - NME

Veteran punks complete their filler-filled trilogy, and stagger across the finish line looking badly in need of a lie-down

Second verse, same as the first; the same riff you’ll swear you heard 15 songs earlier; the same tics, the same tricks; the same final-chorus key change you could set your watch by; the same lingering disappointment you’ll feel at the end of it all.

Listening to ‘¡Uno!’, ‘¡Dos!’ and ‘¡Tré!’ back to back, it’s difficult to fathom how, across a triple-disc canvas that offers nothing but room to experiment, Green Day could contrive to record the same album three times, with only minor variations between them. And yet that’s exactly what they’ve done.

If this trilogy isn’t the sound of a band who’ve run out of ideas, it’s certainly the sound of a band who can no longer tell good ideas from bad – and spinning out what might have been a strong single album into a trio of average ones surely ranks among their worst. Green Day’s longevity has been built on extending their appeal to successive generations of teenagers, but as the band grow older, that’s becoming harder to pull off. The original intent of these albums may have been to recapture their youth, but by the end of ‘¡Tré!’ Green Day sound less rejuvenated, more relieved to have reached the finish line. There’s a persistent jadedness and cynicism here that is probably appropriate for three guys in their forties, but inevitably undermines any attempt at sounding like their twentysomething selves. In its quieter moments, you can practically hear ‘¡Tré!’ huffing and wheezing about being too old for this shit.

Tellingly, the album’s best song is the one that addresses this malaise head-on. ‘X-Kid’ finds Billie Joe asking, “Did you wake up late one day?/And you’re not so young, but you’re still dumb/And you’re numb to your old glory/But now it’s gone,” atop an infectious new-wave guitar riff, and it’s probably the highlight of the entire trilogy; a coming-to-terms with their past rather than a fruitless attempt to relive it. And while we’re dishing out superlatives, opener ‘Brutal Love’ is also excellent, although its amalgam of doo-wop, soul and stadium rock means it’ll likely prove divisive with longtime fans.

Honestly though, that might not be such a bad thing. Too often, ‘¡Tré!’ falls back on a formula – fast, box-ticking choruses fashioned from chords you can count on the fingers of one hand – that Green Day have pretty much stretched to breaking point. ‘Sex, Drugs & Violence’ and ‘A Little Boy Named Train’, for example, aren’t bad songs, but there’s little to distinguish them from the (roughly) 19 similar ones found elsewhere on this trilogy; indeed, the latter even reuses a riff from ‘¡Uno!’. ‘Dirty Rotten Bastards’ marks a return to the jig-punk that didn’t really work on ‘Warning’ (and is an inexplicable six-and-a-half minutes in length), while ‘99 Revolutions’ – a rallying cry for the Occupy movement from punk’s most prominent

one-per-centers – feels more than a little perfunctory.

‘¡Uno!’ and ‘¡Dos!’’s dabblings in rap and indie-disco may not have worked out, but here it’s the songs that attempt something a little different that work best, such as the sombre hymnal of ‘The Forgotten’, or ‘Drama Queen’, which boasts a tumbling, Ray Davies-esque chord progression charming enough to make you overlook the creepiness of a 40-year-old dude singing about a girl’s first period.

It would be a shame if this was a case of “strike ‘¡Tré!’ and out” for Green Day. They’ve shown resilience in the past, after all: a decade ago, they were in a similar place to where this trilogy leaves them – an enormously popular live act on a creative fallow run – and they bounced back. Nevertheless, ‘¡Tré!’ does feel like the end of something, even if it’s just this era of their 25-year career. For all its allure, the past can be a deceitful mistress. Time to start looking to the future.

Barry Nicolson

Details

Director: Rob Cavallo and Green DayRecord label: RepriseRelease date: 10 Dec, 2012

www.nme.com

¡dos! - Wikipedia

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¡uno! - Wikipedia

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Green Day – ¡Tre! | Album Reviews

The Chicago Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He played the game the right way, he hit for power in an era when 2nd baseman weren’t supposed to, and he’s widely considered one of the best defensive players at his position to ever play the game. He retired before season’s end in 1994, but it wasn’t due to injury or age, it was because he lost the desire to play.

Sandberg said, “I didn’t want to play at a level less than what was expected of me by my teammates, coaches, ownership, and most of all, myself.” Sadly, many players don’t stop, can’t stop, and won’t stop. It’s that strange desire that resonates within all professional athletes; whether driven into them by coaches growing up, or just a part of their spirit once out the womb. This “can’t stop” mentality doesn’t end at sports, which sadly brings us to Green Day.

Green Day’s ¡Tré! is the finale of the band’s 2012 trilogy. Its earlier entries were the average ¡Uno! and the album-whose-rating-matched-its-title ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! falls somewhere in the middle of these muddled albums. It’s a mixed bag that doesn’t reach the lows of a forced, guest rap appearance, while containing some of the best songs the trilogy has to offer. More importantly, there are songs on the record that could be used against the band if they consider re-entering the studio at any point in the future. These aren’t bad songs; their message is in their lyrics. It’s over. Walk away.

These aren’t meant to be harsh words toward the Berkeley trio. They’re part of a truth that needs to be told, no matter how dedicated the fan base is both young and old. When “not bad” is considered a positive note in a band’s ongoing existence, the end is not nigh, it’s already here. “Missing You” is not bad, with an impressive Mike Dirnt bass run during its coda and restrained Billie Joe Armstrong vocals, compared to his over-the-top and over-the-hill performance in the oft-dreadful ¡Dos!. “Sex, Drugs & Violence” is vintage Green Day, with its limited-use of guitar chords but still breathing with a catchy-enough chorus. “8th Avenue Serenade” teases changing time signatures; a sandbox the band rarely plays in. But these songs aren’t rock solid. They’re just “not bad.”

Unfortunately, the crystal-clean Rob Cavallo-production shines its sheen upon a genre that thrives on spit and raw power. Tre Cool’s drums are once more balanced with the vocals, guitars, and bass, occasionally with the piano and other orchestrations the band has absolutely given into since the maudlin “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” on Nimrod.  Look no further than album opener “Brutal Love” for an example of such criticism; “The Forgotten”, if you need two. It’s a stale production that has smothered these guys for too long. These issues were mentioned in the review for ¡Uno!, and though these songs are from those same sessions, it’s still disappointing. A change of direction for this band’s sound was dire just as much as they needed to get away from concept records, and they failed on this front.

The album’s most crucial, and most telling song, is “X-Kid”. It’s fitting that the best track on the record spells out the band’s end of days: “You’re numb to your old glory but now it’s gone,” “The shouting’s over and out / Over and out again,” “You’re not so young, but you’re still dumb / You’re an X-Kid and you never even got started again.” It’s a great song in a career full of them, but by coupling this with the lyrics of “Walk Away”, longtime fans will find a reality they may not want to accept.

What’s next for Green Day? As far as we know, Armstrong is still in rehab trying to get things together, and the best of luck goes to him, obviously. The band is likely to reschedule the dates they had to cancel post-breakdown, but after those dates with various cities and countries come to an end? Well, there’s a postscript to Ryan Sandberg’s 1994 retirement: he actually returned in 1996. Although the power was still there, the batting average plummeted, and he couldn’t elevate the Cubs to the division pennant as he had twice before. After battling injuries in ’97, he retired and never jogged out to the infield again.

If Green Day continues after ¡Tré!, Cool’s kickdrum will still pound furiously, Dirnt will still thud away on his bass, and Armstrong will strum those power chords. Like Sandberg in his return, the band won’t be bad, but if this trio of albums is any indication, they won’t be that good, either. There won’t be anything worthwhile. Just noise.

Walk away.

Essential Tracks: “X-Kid”, “Sex Drugs & Violence”, and “Dirty Rotten Bastards”.

consequenceofsound.net


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