This is where Green Day really began to get noticed as a punk rock band. Led by singer/songwriter and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, this is their breakthrough album. It’s not exactly like the American Idiot album that came much later which was also hugely successful, but this album is a stone cold classic. Let’s see why this is so.
Burnout goes straight into the classic punk rock sort of sound that is instantly Green Day, and is very catchy and infectious. It’s very fast, and very uplifting as well. There are some guitar and drum breakdowns here that are original and inspired. This is a great start to the album.
Having A Blast comes next with a catchy riff to boot and full of punk rock attitude all around. This whole album sounds like a soundtrack to youthful angst. It’s very consistent, and brilliant listening any day. The sound is raw, loud and powerful. Punk rock was back, and it would not go away easily here. Short, at under three minutes long, but never dull.
Next is Chump which is another straightforward punk rock piece. It’s likely about someone to loathe. This is much better than what most people would expect, Green Day do extremely well here. It goes into a bass guitar breakdown that is awesome and melodic, with guitars brilliantly feeding back, before going back into the great tune that it is. Nice effort here. It segues into the next track carefully.
The interesting piece Longview comes next, beginning with tom-tom drum beats, followed quickly with expert bass guitar. It’s about a rather gross sexual action by oneself. Interestingly, it also seems that it is also a strange ode to doing such a thing when bored. No further description is required about the specifics of the lyrics, but it is a very good song indeed. It follows a quiet/loud set of dynamics, giving a clear nod to the Grunge music prevalent at the time in this song. It has a mellow fade out.
Welcome To Paradise is another good song which explores great musical and lyrical structures here. It’s a loud, fast and interesting listen and sounds great, like loud punk rock should. Get a decent set of stereo speakers and put the volume onto full, these songs demand this approach to listen to them. There is a quirky breakdown in this song, too. Sounds a lot like The Dead Kennedys, in a way.
Pulling Teeth comes next, with more riffs and excellent song structures galore. This is great USA punk rock here, and is a fine example of good music to listen to here. It’s a bit of a love song with a mixed message, ironically so. Another good listen, short and bitter.
Next is Basket Case which is a rather personal sort of song. It’s a song likely about a nut in the first person viewpoint. An interesting lyrical and musical tale, it’s a fun listen about an odd topic. Refreshing and entertaining, just like the rest of the album. Great effort.
Following is She which begins with a bass and simple drum intro, with Billie Joe Armstrong entering into the track with brilliant vocals and guitars. These guys, especially Billie Joe Armstrong, deserve a lot of credit for the consistent effort on this album. It’s a brilliant effort, not a part out of place here at all. This is a good song, too.
Sassafras Roots comes next. It has a great hard punk rock intro and multiple catchy riffs to hear. Loud, raw and heavy. Green Day nail their own brand of punk rock here, and although the music isn’t experimental or arty, it is not supposed to be so. This song is about wasting people’s time and one’s own time, an unusual but interesting topic.
When I Come Around is a very catchy, classic Green Day tune from the start. It covers relationship issues, and seems very personal. It’s a chugging listen musically, particularly with the combined guitars and drums on this track. A great song for the 1990s. Very catchy.
After that we arrive at Coming Clean which is a fairly straightforward number, with rolling drum beats. It still sounds fresh, amazing and inspiring today as it did way back in 1994. A good tune about more relationship issues.
Next is Emenius Sleepus which is another short and consistent listen from Green Day. It’s a fun and fast listen. The guitars really drive this piece far, and the midsection has some awesome drumming in it.
In The End comes next. It’s a well thought out piece with a guitar riff that fits so perfectly with the rest of the band going on. It’s more fast, furious and loud punk rock to grab your attention. Great effort here.
F.O.D. begins with acoustic guitars and Billie Joe Armstrong singing alone without the rest of the band. It’s a nice touch to hear, and just goes to show that Green Day were an accomplished band on many musical levels. Soon enough, it breaks into a loud and powerful rock jam for all to enjoy. Great mixture of sound and suspense.
Lastly, All By Myself is seemingly a parody by Green Day. It’s an interesting parody of a traditional sort of song, with acoustic guitar and odd singing. An interesting way to finish off this brilliant album.
This is no doubt an excellent and well worked on album. All the tracks here are top quality, and deserve repeated listens. Green Day would become a household name shortly after the release of this album. All the same, very near perfect and a joy to listen to.