Green Day - Insomniac VinylRegular price $25.64
Green Day: Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar); Mike Dirnt (vocals, bass); Tre Cool (drums).
If Nirvana burst the dam that kept punk rock at bay in the '80s, Green Day--with their third album, DOOKIE--were the first all-consuming flood to hit the charts. Brandishing old school Ramones and Clash riffs, the Berkeley, CA trio made out like bandits, selling nearly ten million albums, scaling mainstream magazine covers and hijacking rock-festival spotlights from established acts. But judging from the lyrical contents of INSOMNIAC, bringing punk to the malls hasn't been a very satisfying experience for singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong.
Throughout, he rails at the moribund state of youth culture and his place in it, as bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool speed up this anger to a frenetic pace. The disses fly every which way--at well-to-doers copping poses ("Brat"), at girlfriends who just don't understand ("Stuart And The Ave."), towards the world at-large ("Panic Song"), and, most of all, at himself. As though aware that his band helped make a sacred lifestyle fashionable, Billie Joe demeans his existence in song after song--unable to even sleep in peace with himself. For the disenfranchised listener, these are the ABCs of self-hate rebellion.
Judging from the catchiness of his songs, this predicament isn't likely to end soon. "Geek Stink Breath," a heavy, mid-tempo rumble in the manner of the Sex Pistols' "Sub-Mission"; "Panic Song," with its frenzied "Pinball Wizard"-like build-up, and the fired-up, pop fury of "All Wound Up," all embody the very principals that make the punk lessons of 1977 so attractive today: simplicity, hooks, a lack of pretension, and a disdain for authority. On INSOMNIAC, Green Day puts those lessons to use yet again--their platinum nightmares are sure to follow.
- Format: Vinyl