Punknews.org

Green Day

Green Day: ˇTré! (2012)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: lostandclownedlostandclowned
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Part of what's sustained my enthusiasm for Green Day's music over the years has been my impression of them as outsiders among outsiders. In Cometbus #54, Aaron Cometbus wrote of his friends, "Tré was a weird dude. And kind of dark. Yet he was honest with himself. Whether or not he liked himself, I w.
iTunes StoreAmazon


Part of what's sustained my enthusiasm for Green Day's music over the years has been my impression of them as outsiders among outsiders. In Cometbus #54, Aaron Cometbus wrote of his friends, "Tré was a weird dude. And kind of dark. Yet he was honest with himself. Whether or not he liked himself, I wasn't sure, but I related to his self-deprecating humor better than, say, Mike's occasional self-righteousness. Billie had neither of these qualities; he appeared to be led along even though he was the one calling most of the shots. It was these subtle dynamics and interactions between them that made them a band." If that description of them is accurate, I would argue the same is true of their fans–for anyone in their 30s or 40s who might associate Green Day with Tilt and Jawbreaker, there's a 10-year-old kid discovering them for the first time by playing Angry Birds or watching The Voice. It's easy to pinpoint how Billie Joe's approach to songwriting has evolved from record to record, but why does it appeal to young kids and teenagers as well as middle-aged adults? My gut says it stems from something he said when accepting a Grammy award a few years ago: rock and roll can be fun and dangerous at the same time.

Whatever the reason for their appeal, the thing that blows my hair back about them the most is how their ambition can give new meaning to an older lyric like "Always move forward / Going straight will get you nowhere" when listening to a new song like "A Little Boy Named Train." Yet, whereas American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown were written in a studio atmosphere and marketed as grandiose concept albums, these three self-titled ones are a more back-to-basics affair, written in practice spaces and worked out in clubs. That isn't to say either of them don't offer anything new. For one, Jason White is officially credited as a band member and is the guitarist coming through the right speaker, with Billie Joe on the left. For another, I mean, come on, have you heard the guitar tone on "Stay the Night?" Holy fuck.

Musically, ¡Tré! is the subtlest record in the band's oeuvre. The slow, brooding opener, "Brutal Love," brings out horns with scarcely a minute gone by, accompanied by strings shortly after. Lyrically, simple lines like "Bad luck / Bitters and soda / Drop out / Drop-dead hideous / How long is this brutal love?" make it one of the more unsettling and compelling odes to unrequited love I've ever heard. "Missing You" and "8th Avenue Serenade" are more traditional Green Day songs by comparison but have enough melancholy in them that they wouldn't sound out of place on the Replacements' Don't Tell a Soul or All Shook Down. Then there are the bizarrely [read: perfectly] sequenced and mesmerizingly catchy "Drama Queen" and "X-Kid." Blending sexual tension with a good melody is a requirement for most pop songs but I haven't heard them blended as awkwardly as they are in "Drama Queen," and that's a good thing. "X-Kid," written about a friend who committed suicide, just hits every Green Day note and is destined to become a fan favorite.

¡Tré! also marks the first explicit mention of Amanda, an ex-girlfriend of Billie Joe's, and the inspiration for songs as diverse as "Stuart and the Ave." and "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)," as well as the Whatsername character from American Idiot. Though the song that bears her name is a little on the forgettable side, it does contain a gem of a lyric in "Is this a kind of love only hate would understand?"

The final three songs are redux versions of the three songs the band has written the past decade. "Dirty Rotten Bastards" obviously recalls "Jesus of Suburbia" and "Homecoming" but without the operatic mechanism. Mike's bass playing is given a nice display too, with the last fill maybe being the best one he's ever played. Like "American Idiot" and "Holiday," "99 Revolutions" isn't a profound political statement, but a catchy rock song that will go over well live and put the band on the right side of history, if nothing else. And what "The Forgotten" lacks lyrically, I can appreciate musically. It's a "Hey Jude" rip that goes over about as well as it can.

Whether or not you're a Green Day fan, or if you got off the train some time ago, three albums of genuinely inspired songs make it hard to dispute that they're on top of their game. I can't think of another band that is or was this ambitious twenty years after their first commercial success. If you can sound this good letting the initial experience of playing music with your friends be its own reward, the world is less of a miserable place than it was yesterday. At 40, that's commendable.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Green Day - ˇUno!Green Day - ˇDos!Green Day - InsomniacGreen Day - American IdiotGreen Day - NimrodGreen Day - Kerplunk!Green Day - WarningGreen Day - 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy HoursGreen Day - 21st Century BreakdownAlkaline Trio - Broken Wing [EP]

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
alysonrose (February 15, 2013)

Amanda was the drummer, Tre's,ex-girlfriend.

smarttrigger (January 22, 2013)

5 stars for the review.

joemomma420666 (December 27, 2012)

13. Sweet 16

joemomma420666 (December 27, 2012)

1. Brutal Love
2. Let Yourself Go
3. Lazy Bones
4. Missing You
5. Loss of Control
6. Lady Cobra
7. Stray Heart
8. X-Kid
9. Ashley
10. Amanda
11. Rusty James
12. Dirty Rotten Bastards

I love all 3 albums, Tre! is the best, followed by Uno!, then Dos!
Dos has some of the best songs on the trilogy, but is really the only one I find myself skipping through to get to the best tracks.

telegraphrocks (December 23, 2012)

"Dirty Rotten Bastards"... so good.

slowstupidhungry (December 20, 2012)

OK, look at that art. And realize, the band that recorded Dookie and Insomniac have their own brand of backpacks at K-Mart (or did, at least). I somehow don't think they give a fuck if we like it or not. Beating up on this would be like beating up on Paramore or something, as much as it sucks, it's cheap and a waste of time because it's not even for anyone out of middle school.

Farkasok (December 20, 2012)

I really wanted to like this trilogy, especially since there are a few tunes from these albums that are pretty sweet ("Rusty James", for example) but overall I think they're pretty boring with "Uno" being the worst offender of the bunch. They just don't pack the same punch as their older material and the energy present on albums like "Dookie" just isn't there. I'm not too into "American Idiot" or "21st Century Breakdown" but at least it sounded like they were trying (even if the results were mixed imo). On these albums, it sounds like they're simply phoning it in and it's ridiculously disappointing. :|

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (December 20, 2012)

you'd have to be a real dick to think your fans want this much filler.............

wallofyouth (December 18, 2012)

even if you make a "top 15 " playlist out of the three records, you get an album of pop-punk songs that aren't as good as kerplunk, pop songs that aren't as good as dookie, punk songs that aren't as good as insomniac, rock songs that aren't as good as nimrod, and pop-rock songs that aren't as good as warning. all with stale production. the trilogy feels like an infomercial for rock and roll. speaking of which, the "quattro" documentary on vh1 was pretty okay.

Problematiclogic (December 18, 2012)

That's a good list towniebusiness, mine would be very similar!

porksoda (December 18, 2012)

I feel like if ˇTre! was the only one of the three albums they put out, it would have been the most satisfying. Not that I don't like ˇUno! and ˇDos!, but I feel like ˇTre! is the most comprehensive piece of work.

I still think they would have been better off editing the trilogy down to one album. I'm still working the kinks out, but here is my ˇUno-Dos-Tre! album:
01. Nuclear Family
02. Let Yourself Go
03. Stop When The Red Lights Flash
04. X-Kid
05. Loss Of Control
06. Stray Heart
07. Fuck Time
08. Brutal Love
09. Lazy Bones
10. Missing You
11. Amanda
12. Oh Love
13. Makeout Party
14. Dirty Rotten Bastards
15. Drama Queen
BONUS TRACKS
16. Stay The Night
17. Wow! That's Loud
18. Kill The DJ

flydebs (December 18, 2012)

There's definitely filler songs on all the albums, but when I put my favorites from all three into a playlist, it may be the best GD album I have.

BluthCo (December 18, 2012)

Tre! is my least favorite of the three (though I'd give them all 3.5/5), but it's also the most consistently solid. It doesn't have anything as good as the best songs from Uno! and Dos!, but on the other hand, it doesn't have anything as bad as the worst songs on those albums.

All in all, I thought the trilogy was fun, even though it was a little weird to hear Armstrong sing some pretty immature lyrics for his age.

telegraphrocks (December 18, 2012)

Pretty damn good. If you liked them before, no reason to dislike them now.
In that same mindset, if this exact same album came out by a band that formed a year ago and was released by label no larger than No Sleep, more of you bearded sacks of shit would be jerking off over it.
Get it out of your head that they are, in fact, one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, and maybe you'd all stop being little bitches.

P.S.
Where's the "Dos" review?

paulrulzdood (December 18, 2012)

good review. I like UNO! the best out of the trilogy, i like how it sounds like a modern take on Dookie mixed with some 60's pop and garage rock. DOS! was a mishmash of random stuff; kind of sloppy, a little too much like the Hives/White Stripes/Strokes type music and no cohesion. TRE! is a good conclusion, sounds like UNO!-meets-21st Century.

I think the project would have made for a phenomenal 20-track single disc, maybe would have been my favorite album of their career, which is saying a lot.

or maybe a 24-track double album, but i do find 12 duds amongst the 37 songs, mostly on DOS, although all 3 albums have some filler.

just like 21st, a bit too ambitious, in a different way. but overall, their 3rd best work behind American Idiot and Dookie. and at 40 years of age and playing this style of music, yea, that is saying a lot to just go ahead and top the majority of the work you did in your 20's when people naively thought you were at your peak.

mattpants (December 18, 2012)

I liked the review. I'm interested in listening to it. I bought it the other day and haven't had a chance yet.

OntheImpossiblePresent (December 18, 2012)

Tre is my least favorite of the three, Dos being number one. And your right, X-Kid will be a fan favorite for years.

whatchokesbegin (December 18, 2012)

This, or one of these new albums, was blaring from the ceiling in Barnes & Noble yesterday and it really was just offensively bad. It's obvious that they are phoning it in with lazy lyrics and recycled chord progressions. As a former Green Day fan, I get the idea of nostalgia, but I really don't understand how any fully functioning adult human being can enjoy this drivel.

juloo (December 18, 2012)

uno & tré are definitely the best ones for me!

towniebusiness (December 18, 2012)

I made an 18-song compilation out of all three albums. While I wasn't all that impressed with the complete three-album set of tracks, picking out the best 18 of them actually made a really really great Green Day album, and seemed to give better insight into their intention of a back to basics & career spanning album.

Out of the 18 songs, 3 were from Tre. Not that great of a ratio. That being said, 8th Avenue Serenade, is one of my favorite tracks of all three records.

Full disclosure: Got into Green Day at age 10 when Dookie came out and I still call them my favorite band of all time. My Favorite album: Kerplunk; Their best album: Nimrod; Their Worst Album: American Idiot. This information may shape my selections.

Here's the track listing of the album they should have released and what albums they're from:

1) See You Tonight - ˇDos!
2) Let Yourself Go - ˇUno!
3) Nuclear Family - ˇUno!
4) 8th Avenue Serenade - ˇTré!
5) Makeout Party - ˇDos!
6) Ashley - ˇDos!
7) Lazy Bones - ˇDos!
8) Angel Blue - ˇUno!
9) Loss Of Control - ˇUno!
10) Sex, Drugs & Violence - ˇTré!
11) Stay The Night - ˇUno!
12) Lady Cobra - ˇDos!
13) Sweet 16 - ˇUno!
14) Baby Eyes - ˇDos!
15) Stop When the Red Lights Flash - ˇDos!
16) Rusty James - ˇUno!
17) Dirty Rotten Bastards - ˇTré!
18) Wow! That's Loud - ˇDos!

P.S. I seriously can't count how many times over the course of all 3 full albums they ripped the lick from the Clash's version of "I Fought The Law". For real, I loose count every time I try. So many fucking times! Still my favorite band though, just saying.

MN_DrNick (December 18, 2012)

This was the worst one of the three albums.

you-sexy-goose (December 18, 2012)

Tre is my favorite of the trilogy. I didn't dislike the others, but this one seems, to me, the most inspired of the bunch. Not to mention some of it gives off a Warning vibe... Which I quite clearly love.

Alien (December 18, 2012)

Classic Renaldo... oh wait

wahhey (December 18, 2012)

Great review! I was bummed when I first listened to this one but I'm slowly coming around. Its funny how I've listened to records this year [forgetters for example] that I can listen to over and over and only about 4 tracks can be recalled in my head later that day, I listen to any of these green day records twice and just by reading the tracklist I can recall the melody of the song instantly. Maybe thats excellent songwriting, maybe its juvenile, but the second time I listened to tre I liked it infinitely more than the first time around.

kylewagoner (December 18, 2012)

Nostalgia city.

eazyd2 (December 18, 2012)

wow review written by an unapologetic green day fanboy what a suprising score for such a piece of shit

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go