Dookie-Green Day

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MAX

Green Day. Modern gods of punk rock. The kings of the power chord. The poets of mayhem. Tre’ Cool, who’s fills are perfectly fine tuned and loose, all at the same time, Mike Dirnt with fingers flying across his bass all while playing double duty on harmonies, and Billie Joe Armstrong, a crazed guitarist with distortion galore, preaching the joys of masturbation with his iconic vocals. In the early 90’s, their music was fast, loud and what some might say immature. I disagree: their work on “Dookie” is incredible for the time period and the early state that they were at as a band.

dookie-album-coverRated number 193 on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 best albums (a few spots above “American Idiot”) “Dookie” began the 90’s pop-punk revolution that changed music forever.  It distanced itself from classic punk rock predecessors (ie: Ramones) churning out lyrics that make you rock out, laugh, and think all at the same time.

The first Green Day song I learned to play was “Basket Case”. It was simple enough and helped me become a steadier guitarist since the timing on that song is extremely precise. I have since learned to play the majority of the other songs on this album. “Welcome to Paradise” is my personal favorite with an incredible lick and heavy bass-line bridge with high grace notes that makes it irresistible to shake your head to. The harmonies are right on as is Tre’s incredible ride cymbal beat. Since it’s a story about living as squatters, it’s also cool to see how Billie Joe changes from “whining” to “laughing” in the different verses as he stays in the squat for longer and longer.

Another top song for me is “Longview”.  Mike Dirnt really gets to show off his bass skills in a circular progression that makes sense for what the song is; a young lazy guy who can’t get it together and dreams of the paradise with his other looser friends. The laid-back vocals really help me envision this smelly dude on his mom’s couch.

I must have listened to this album more than a dozen times (some on vinyl, often during guitar lessons, in the morning while getting ready for school , etc.) and it is strong through and through.

From the dive right in to”Burnout”, to the creepy ending of, “All By Myself” where Billie Joe sings with a lisp, I was not let down at all.  This may just be my new favorite record and I heavily recommend it for punk fans of all ages.

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MICHAEL

I am with Max on this one.  You press play and the band comes charging on “Burnout”.  Drums, guitar, bass, attitude, and then the words “I declare I don’t care no more / I’m burning up and out and / growing bored” —  the first of a series of raging young, bored, frustrated characters that find themselves trapped are unveiled.  And then a beat or two of silence and we’re rocking again on the paranoid, fatalistic “Having a Blast”.  At this point, Dookie is rocking and spreading the infectious sound of California Pop Punk.

dookie-picGreen Day is a great band and this is truly a great album.   Billie Joe Armstrong’s lyrics, vocals and guitar set the stage.  Mike Dirnt brings an original and deft performance with bass lines that act more like leads than bottom in many songs.  His vocals perfectly  move on top of and underneath Armstrong’s voice, to help create this group’s West Coast sound.  The drumming of Tre’ Cool is way out there — fast, furious, and compelling.   Cool’s playing leaves poignant accents to the dark stories told on this record.  Together these brothers in arms create the distinctive sound that is Green Day.

dookie-bwOn this record, these 3 revivalists delivered a new incarnation of Punk to 90s audiences.  They  resurrected that angry sound of 3 chord speed guitar riffs powered by driving bass and drums from the 70s and  80s  to continue the movement’s lineage.  In the tradition of the Sex Pistols, The Ramones and The Clash, Green Day takes its turn in front of this community and then blows the door open for the next wave of bands like, Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, Panic at the Disco and Bowling for Soup.  You can hear it happening when you turn Dookie up.  It is all right there.

I was always into the big 5 songs from this Grammy winning album; “When I Come Around”, “Longview” “Welcome to Paradise”, “She” and “Basket Case”, so I wondered to myself when listening… why did  I never owned it?   I guess by 1994, I aged out.  I was no longer a regular resident of MTV land, I had moved on during the grunge era and only visited occasionally.  At 30+, with a kid and a suit job in Manhattan, my adolescent anger had all diminished.  Well, maybe not completely, because 10 years later it must have returned as I spent hours and hours with the politically charged “American Idiot”.

Dookie  is #193 on the Rolling Stone Magazine 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list

Do you have the time to listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once