Green Day: ¡Dos!

    With the rock and roll lifestyle comes its demons — a sacred law which evidently does not exclude Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who recently suffered an on-stage meltdown leading to a rehab stint. The band’s second album in their “¡Uno!”, “¡Dos!”, “¡Tré!” trilogy consequently serves as a document of the insistent sex, drugs and rock ‘n rolling that facilitated Armstrong’s downward spiral.

    The album evolves from “¡Uno!’s” mediocre three-chord pop-punk melodies into a ’50s garage-rock album teeming with catchy power-pop grit. Stripped of its typical post-production mold,”¡Dos!” dirties up the sound by bringing grunge from the arena back into the studio. Opener “See You Tonight” is a solemn commencement to the party with Armstrong’s voice over gentle acoustic guitar strumming, serving as “¡Dos!’s” sole chaser before truly hitting the bottle hard. A mere minute later, the gusto spikes with a steady pounding drum and screeching electric guitar strum reminiscent of a high-school garage-band in the boisterous but ridiculous “Fuck Time.” Beginning with steadfast drums and a staccato cadenced guitar, standout “Lazy Bones” progresses into an up-tempo alt-pop anthem in the band’s true heyday fashion reminiscent of “American Idiot’s” “Give Me Novocaine.”

    Reaching for a taste of adolescence, this band of now 40-somethings throw a “Makeout Party” with a vintage yet grungy sound. The mix of fast-paced bass solos in conjunction with the high-pitched shrill of the electric guitar and carelessness of Armstrong’s bold echoed voice construct the grit-and-grime environment that only a spin-the-bottle garage party could entertain. It’s the closest they’ve come to youthful in years. Rock enthusiasts may seek solace in “Wow! That’s Loud,” wherein a repetitive Irish-inspired electric guitar solo ups the ante and makes for some ass-kicking tuneage. “¡Dos!” brings life to a rock-inspired party where having fun is the only objective. Although the hoopla brought Armstrong to his knees, it made for an album that refreshingly makes no apologies.

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