You know how I’m always defending The Ramones when people accuse them of making the same record over and over again?
I usually make a case for it being more a refinement on an already successful recipe rather than a lack of invention. The Ramones knew exactly what they should sound like and they approached the same task over and over refining and adjusting the formula.
Green Day, Man. They’re almost as good as The Ramones in my book. Those who can’t see it aren’t getting past the fact that you can get burgers at McDonalds, you can get them at Five Guys or the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Everyone of them will serve you something made up of ground beef, a bun and varying degrees of lettuce, tomato, ketchup and cheese. You can throw other stuff in there, you can leave some bits out. You can go organic or you can process that shit in a microwave at a 7-11. You’ll still get a burger.
Some Green Day records are more Gourmet than others. Warning! was maybe not a Five Guys of an album to some… maybe. To me it’s their best effort. There is some really bold stuff being tried on this record. From the Brand that gave the world Dookie (named after poop). Nimrod (named after dicks) and Insomniac with it’s juvenalia titles Brat, Armatage Shanks, Geek Stink Breath and Brain Stew they had run a risk of not evolving past the ennui and Basket Case image of the bands who came up in their wake. While Blink 182, Good Charlotte and Sum 41 were making hay in the millennium year Green Day grew up quietly and tried on some folk inflection, some semi acoustic torch songs and some lyrical complexity.
Warning’s title track might be one of the greatest punk singles of all time hiding behind the facade of a Stadium Band going soft. Macy’s Day Parade is twice the anthem people give it credit for and album tracks like the hidden in plain sight polka Misery, the razor wire guitar of Castaway and the perverts on parade of Blood Sex And Booze all add light and shade to a record that never sticks to the formula. That is apart from when we get to Church On Sunday.
Church On Sunday is the song you want on every Green Day record. It does exactly what Holiday did after it, what Welcome To Paradise did before it and what Bouncing Off The Walls did on their most recent Truck Stop Burger and Fries for $3.99 of an album
Church On Sunday has the lyrics, the riff, the energy and the ear worm to be the perfect serving of Green Day in a bun.
(I’m going for it) Relish this one, I’m Lovin’ I… (no, sorry I can’t)