There comes a time in everybody's life when we all must face the inevitable. No I'm not talking about death, or anything like that. I'm talking about the awful and offensive statements made by ignorant people. Those statements sum up to "I have Green Day's First CD, Dookie". You all know what I'm talking about, and I'm sure you've had to face such ignorance personally. I know, it's hard. Millions of people every day are victims of this ignorance, but we mustn't give up. With time, people will realize that we don't have horns growing…I mean…there was Green Day before Dookie.
1.039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, not Dookie, is Green Day's debut album. For those of you who aren't familiar with the band's earlier material, I'll start off with some history. When one compares this album, to Dookie, he/she will realize a huge difference in sound. Billy Joe's guitar sound is thinner, the bass isn't quite as audible, the drumming sounds like it's by a different drummer, and the overall production isn't as good. Well, the reasons for those observations are that this album was put out on the independent label, Lookout, as opposed to Dookie, which was put out on Warner Brothers. Obviously on an independent label the budget isn't nearly as big, so the production is rawer. As for the drumming, on 1,039/Slappy Hours, the band had a different drummer, by the name of John Kiftmyer. Now, to the music.
Instead of making this overly long, I'll only talk about the standout tracks.
The album kicks off with a cool, and catchy song called At The Library. In this song Billy Joe sings about a girl he's fascinated with, that he spotted at what I'm assuming is a Library. This song sets the tone for most of the album, which is songs about girls. Still, the lyrics are pretty insightful, and the band is still young, so they have some future maturing to do. I like this song. It's a good opening song to catch your attention.
Next up is Don't Leave Me. It's a catchy song, and it holds your further attention while cranking the pace up a bit. This is a powerful, fast, well written song.
Disappearing Boy is a great tune with a real driving beat and guitar. The lyrics are quite insightful, talking about how he feels like he's invisible at times.
Ah, the Band's Title Track, Green Day. I'm sure most of you know this, but a Green Day, I'm pretty sure, is the day after you've been high all day, or maybe it's when you are high all day. Either way, the title is pretty self-explanatory. The lyrics are actually pretty funny if you're a stoner.
Road to Acceptance is a very cool song with a good message. Billy Joe's voice is incredibly urgent in this song, and it makes it sound so honest. This is a driving song with a cool bass line.
The Judge's Daughter is the first album on the song that reveals Billy Joe's soloing ability. Not bad. If you first became familiar with this band through Dookie, the solo is a little refreshing. Aside from that, the song stands on it's own, with a cool melody, and a catchy-as-hell bridge leading into the aforementioned solo. Very cool.
The next standout track is a very cool number going by the name Knowledge. I don't even know how to classify this song. It's got a ragtime rhythm to it with a piano and harmonica played throughout. Billy Joe sings like he's drunk, which adds some humor, and there's another small guitar solo towards the middle.
After Knowledge, we're treated to a powerful-as-fuck rocker called 1000 Hours. It starts with guitars, then the drumming kicks in, with Billy Joe's singing immediately after. The song is about a guy jerking off. Yes, another one.
The album closes with a great song called I Want to be Alone. It's an angry song basically telling someone to fuck off. Mike Dirnt's bass playing is great, and you're treated to one last guitar solo.
All in all, this album succeeds at being quite good. It shows obvious influences from the Clash and the Ramones, and is a good debut for a young band that would later change the course of Punk Rock forever by opening the floodgates for New School bands. It was written before all the controversy of "selling out" to a major label, and all that other bullshit that people say about this band. If you haven't already at least heard this album, shame on you. I consider this album a staple to my collection, and I think any punk collector should.