Don’t be deceived by the mellow opening track of “Â¡Dos!,” the second entry of Green Day’s trilogy of albums to be released within four months of each other.
The song, “See You Tonight” is merely a single guitar and the soft vocals of lead singer Billy Armstrong. This lasts for little more than a minute, while the rest of Green Day’s album is a relentless punk rock set, infused with driving guitar progressions and vigorous drum beats.
In the song, “Stop When the Red Lights Flash,” Armstrong repeats, “I’ll make you surrender” to the aggressive yet fun sound that is reminiscent of Green Day’s early career. The album is a nonstop cacophony of wild punk melodies and progressions that clocks in at just under 40 minutes, giving the listener barely enough time to register what just happened.
Some highlights of the album include, “Lazy Bones” which sounds like something The Strokes would produce if they ever decided to delve into garage rock. Taking a slightly slower tempo, the song progresses as Armstrong sings, “I don’t know want your sympathy, I don’t want your honesty, I just want to get some peace of mind.” The song captures the restlessness of wanting to be liberated from a failed relationship as the song becomes more upbeat with hard percussion patterns and unusual guitar chords.
“Makeout Party” has a killer bass solo halfway through the track that makes for a nice breakdown and then subsequent progression to hard grungy rock. The tracks “Wild One” and “Stray Heart” slow things down slightly, but in “Stray Heart” the distinctive bass chords save the track from being a somewhat conventional song about Armstrong wanting someone he can’t have.
The album loses some traction halfway through, however, especially with the songs “Baby Eyes” and “Lady Cobra,” which seem repetitious and lack any coherent lyricism.
“Nightlife” might seem the most misplaced song on the album due to the inclusion of an unattributed (yet sultry) female vocal. However, the addition makes for an oddly seductive repartee with Armstrong, and the result evokes a sense of danger and eroticism.
The last song, “Amy,” is a quaint tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, with simple guitar strums and Armstrong singing about yearning to be friends with the songstress. The ode refers to her bluesy roots and how her tattoo of a lucky charm “never really kept (her) safe.” It’s a gentle and somber ending of the album for Armstrong to commemorate how the music industry lost Winehouse too soon.
Overall, the album is distinct from the pop-rock style “Uno!” and a far departure from the over-produced, politically charged “21st Century Breakdown.” However, it seems to be a return to form for Green Day, and the album is messy, grungy and exhilarating, recalling their punk-rock youth.
Hopefully Green Day can hone their renewed punk zeal and develop it further in their concluding album “Tre!” In the meantime, this album will serve as a great soundtrack to any contemporary punk-rocker.
““ Michael Palumbo
Email Palumbo at email@example.com.