The Band: Green Day
From: Berkeley, California
Formed/Brokesed Up: 1987--
Sound & Vision: Green Day first crackled through our transistor radios in 1994 with “Longview.” Despite, or perhaps because of its reference to self-abuse (i.e., whackin’ it) and use of the word “fucking” (bleeped, of course), “Longview” got pretty heavy airplay and Jam-lookalikes Green Day were featured in the “Cute Band Alert” feature of the late, much lamented Sassy magazine, an honor previously bestowed on the likes of The Pogues, the Bay City Rollers, and Duran Duran. Within a year you couldn’t fucking self-abuse yourself without hearing a Green Day single as the Bay Area crooners busted out “Welcome to Paradise,” “When I Come Around,” and "Basket Case" in quick succession. So we are here now to decide—Green Day, threat or menace?
PRO: 1993? The sound of a convent of nuns being raped by a hundred morbidly obese New York Jets fans would have been preferable to the grunge being forced down our throats at the time. They were a spiky-haired infusion against a flannel-clad scene that was no longer alternative and had regressed to aping 1970s hard rock. Besides, the songs are definitely keepers. Green Day had alternative cred in a way that Stone Temple Pilots did not.
ANTI: It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right….tonight, on a very special Party of Five…I hope you had the time of your life...Concept albums, concerts at the Patriot Center, endless promos on DC101. If that’s punk then I’m a 25-year-old pool party attending scenester. Green Day also tended to make wacky, plot-heavy videos that put them perilously close to Foo Fighters territory. Did you form a band as a backdoor to becoming the next Jerry Zucker? Spawned a legion of mediocre imitators and one could build a credible war crimes case against “Time of Your Life” for launching emo and allowing Pete Wentz to find gainful employment as an “entertainer.” We must judge the tree by its fruit and personally I find Blink-182 and All Time Low quite mealy and sour.
VERDICT: PRO. If someone had to get massive and play arenas, then it may as well have been Green Day, and not Seven Mary Three. I also think Billy Joe’s dirt-eating at Woodstock was a pretty bad-ass move.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The Band: Green Day