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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By MAX ASAYESH-BROWN, St. Petersburg High
Grade: ****, 4/5 asterisks
Being a religious Green Day fan as far back as my elementary school years, it’s disheartening enough to hear the increasing public opinion that it’s time for the warhorses of punk rock to throw in the towel.
The discontent is understandable. A universal recipe seems to characterize most songs, and the chords are easily identified, given their similarity. With such an impressive career behind them, it’s difficult not to run out of ideas.
But I don’t mind.
When Green Day is still capable of enduing listeners with songs such as X-Kid and 99 Revolutions — not to mention the lingering Stray Heart, Rusty James, Let Yourself Go, Kill the DJ … many good songs, essentially — it calls attention to the fact that if indeed you don’t find Green Day appealing or relevant in the way they were in 2004 and before, then it’s not worth being bothered by.
In other words: If you don’t like Green Day, don’t listen to Green Day.
¡Tre!, in short, has its ups and downs. Many of the songs follow one of Green Day’s favorite formulas, that of building up the contribution of each instrument until it all disappears, leaving the main riff standing alone until Billie Joe Armstrong swoops in with vocals once more. X-Kid does precisely this, but it’s a terrific song, unparalleled by others on the album save for 99 Revolutions.
Let’s go back in time (writing a review of your favorite band isn’t easy; neither is writing three). ¡Tre! hits the road with Brutal Love, a punk slow dance. This is what it sounds like when Billie Joe belts. (A similar effect can be heard in the concert version of King for a Day/Shout; see Bullet in a Bible.) That, unlike much of the album, is new.
Green Day still holds a steady appeal to me, but like I said, I’m biased. The explosion of albums is off-putting to many, but whether it’s Green Day going out with a bang or proving that they’ve still got all they need to make punk history, I’m gratified.