Tre is the final album of the Green Day trilogy. It does not officially come out until Monday, at which time I will be publishing a full review of the album. Until then, here are my thoughts on the album after one listen.
Track: Brutal Love
Tre starts in similar acoustic fashion to Dos, with a simple picking sound bringing memories of R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts. Adding horns and smooth harmonies, this is certainly a new sound for Green Day, which adds credit to the pre-release claims that this is the most experimental of the trio. Very much a kind of 1960s love song style, which explodes in to full-power Green Day goodness, heightened with rising strings to bring the song to a climatic finish
Track: Missing You
A far more traditional sounding track which suggests this isn’t going to be Green Day’s answer to OK Computer. Reminiscent of something that might be found on Nimrod, with hints of Blue Angel from trilogy launcher Uno.
Track: 8th Avenue Serenade
Yep, definitely not going to be seeing any experimentation with loops and bleeps and the such. This track could comfortably fit on any of the three albums. The most common sound of the new Green Day work. Harmonies and guitar work unmistakably channelling The Strokes in certain places.
Track: Drama Queen
Previously misprinted on some Dos vinyl prints, the acoustic Drama Queen has Billie Joe channelling Oasis (again, if you ask Noel Gallagher who famously said Boulevard of Broken Dreams was a rip-off of Wonderwall). Again, a very 60s feel to it, Reminds me of a song I can’t quite recall.
Sounds like it could and perhaps should very well be the first single off Tre. A curious number because it echoes sound of the pop punk bands that were trying to ape the Green Day sound. This is Green Day trying to sound like bands trying to sound like Green Day, only they do it better. Reminds of Another Girl, Another Planet.
Track: Sex and Violence
Another song which could easily appear on any of the albums. One of the weakest tracks so far. With the constant repetition of the refrain sex, drugs and violence/English, maths and science it highlights of the biggest problems of the trilogy and one of the more unsettling problems with Green Day over the past 12 years, their reluctance, not to act their age, but to pander to a younger audience. It is somewhat unsettling to hear a grown man singing about school (I’m looking at you Alice Cooper!) Not a terrible song, though lyrically one of the weakest for a long time.
Track: Little Boy Named Train
Another modern Green Day standard. The guitar sound and strumming pattern is reminiscent of the far superior Foxboro Hot Tubs song Stop Drop and Roll!!! Wouldn’t be missed if never heard from again.
Another familiar sounding song, bringing memories from previous albums, something from Shenanigans (possibly, Rotting?), as well as slight return to Basket Case. Like an early Beatles song with louder guitars.
Track: Walk Away
Walk Away has slight hints of Franz Ferdinand’s song of the same title, though that might have more to do with the same refrain than any actual musical similarities. Another
Track: Dirty Rotten Bastards
Starts with the first bit of anything remotely “experimental” for a while. Sounds like a reject from Warning before moving into the more modern Green Day sound before changing tempo and breaking into a heavy rocker, something that is sorely lacking on the album so far. Clearly owes a debt to the nine-minute tracks on American Idiot. This works a bit more cohesive than those, but still suffers from a lack of natural transition between each section, which sound, leaving you with a sense the song is several bits stuck together. It offers a brief opportunity for Mike Dirnt to cut loose to do his best Matt Freeman impersonation, which is a lovely moment of which there should be more. A lot more. Slows back down before crashing into an AI breakdown for the finale. Like a pop punk loser lullaby.
Track: 99 Revolutions
Sounds like another single. Filled with references to the Occupy movement, the band are back on the political bandwagon. “I feel like a 99, but technically I’m a 1.” he told Rolling Stone a few months ago. A frenetic ending that will cause chaos when played live.
Track: The Forgotten
Album closer. Ending on a more low-key affair. Starting with Billie Joe singing over minor piano chords, strings rising to take it to the inevitable full band build-up before breaking back down to piano and ending the trilogy with a surge of strings.
Certainly a more mellow record, with more musical variation but any claims to be “experimental” just identify how limited Green Day’s sound actually is. Not that’s a bad thing, of course. They do what the do very well. After one listen it seems like a good end to an interesting experiment. The only problem is that I now want a new Green Day record every month.