Green Day

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Kerplunk

Green Day - Kerplunk ©1992 Lookout!
1. 2000 Light Years Away
2. One For The Razorbacks
3. Welcome To Paradise
4. Christie Road
5. Private Ale
6. Dominated Love Slave
7. One Of My Lies
8. 80
9. Android
10. No One Knows
11. Who Wrote HOlden Caufield?
12. Words I Might Have Ate
13. Sweet Children
14. Best Thing In Town
15. Strangleland
16. My Generation

Kerplunk is probably an easy album for many people to overlook. Green Day had already solidified a respectable following with a series of EPs and a full length album by 1992. Even crustier punkers who worshipped the underground like Mormons worship their choir could occasionally don a Green Day shirt to show they, too, had a soft, sensitive side that hugged skater girls and played with frisky puppies. Of course, this was the last album before the dreaded major label jump so Green Day's ability to appeal to jaded punker types was running towards an end, but they were also laying the groundwork for their future goals.

Green Day has never been much more than a pop rock trio who just so happened to play a punkier beat than, say, Journey. Their entire motif is based on writing simple, catchy songs that were easy to sing along with. Billy Joe Anderson, the singer and guitarist, used a adolescent snotty voice that suggested punk without ever getting too serious about it. There honestly wasn't a single thing offensive or challenging about Green Day, but they had their occasional catchy moments. It just so happens Kerplunk has less than some of the other early releases.

Aside from "Welcome to Paradise", which showed up again on 1994's Dookie and maybe "One of my Lies", there isn't a whole lot that stands out on this album. The production lets the band sound clear and punchy but not over polished. But something lacks drive and spirit throughout the album. It's like expecting a nice steak dinner and getting Taco Bell instead. Songs waft by like a leaf in the autumn wind but doesn't exactly do any damage along the way. In a word, it's a bore. The band was too inoffensive and safe and much too cartoony to be taken terribly seriously. It was the sort of thing your kid sister would play for her junior high friends.

Strangely, the band would improve on their formula for their "sellout" album, Dookie, and shoot to the stratosphere of popularity. Had they released this clunker, they probably wouldn't have done so well.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/2002

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