Logan J. Fowler believes the third time is the charm…
Released in December, ¡Tré! puts the finishing touches on the Green Day album trilogy that contains predecessors ¡Uno! and ¡Dos! ¡Tré! is clearly supposed to be ¡Tre! but pays homage to the band’s drummer Tré Cool. Despite dropping a near month ago I waited to pick up the album due to my severe disappointment with the second installment of the trilogy.
With trepidation intact, I put the disc into my car and just took it all in. Beginning soft yet again like on ¡Dos!, “Brutal Love” is a serenade with less sincerity and more scars, but ends on a grand note, and kind of meshes the sound of Green Day with that of the The Temptations. You can just imagine front man Billie Joe, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Cool along with the less notable band members in white tuxes snapping their fingers along with the tune. It’s different, but it’s a good kind.
The drum beats erupt with track 2, “Missing You,” pretty much a love song to a significant other. It’s simple, it’s sweet, and it works. Dare I say it, it’s even cute. The mushy stuff continues on into “8th Avenue Serenade,” where Armstrong sings of just getting all the meetings in with someone before time is lost. Not too bad, but kind of forgettable.
“Drama Queen” should be familiar to Green Day die hards. A regular choice for an encore performance at a Green Day concert, the melodic tune has got the twang of Bob Dylan but the raw wording put forth by Billie Joe. Clearly it’s a favorite because it rings a familiar bell in my mind.
“X-Kid” has earned its place has earned its place as one of my favorites from the band. The guitar solo intro leads into a steady build before the chorus hits, and it’s just so good, it’s a repeat listen for yours truly. It’s not like anything I’ve heard in the library by the band, but it’s not so distant from the familiar that it goes off the deep end. Briefly describing it, it’s just about a dude who’s been through the ringer emotionally. I can relate. Maybe that’s why it sticks.
“Sex, Drugs, and Violence” takes a cue from the olden days of the band, as the track feels like it would be right at home on a pre American Idiot album. It’s catchy and the beat is solid, so chalk another one up to the “good stuff” pile.
“A Little Boy Named Train” is Armstrong singing of a character (named Train) without purpose or strong direction. Relatable I’m sure for a generation of those who can’t figure out their end game, so to say we’ve all been there is probably correct. Worth a listen.
“Amanda” is kind of meh, just the front man saying how he wasn’t good enough for the titular girl. “Walk Away” begins the solid transition to the end of the album. Here we hear about one’s rise up from defeat but still leaving a permanent wound. The drum beat, along with the melodic strums of guitar, leave an impression of something from yesteryear, maybe like the 1960s, but here it’s implemented way better lyrically than the stuff that brought down ¡Dos!
“Dirty Rotten Bastards” starts off as an Irish drinking song; you can almost hear the clinking of beer mugs announcing a cheers as you listen. One minute and twenty seconds in, the beat changes completely from the Irish melody and harkens back to memories of “Jesus of Suburbia” or “Homecoming” off American Idiot. Then thirty seconds later it changes again to a thumping bass line with machine gun fire guitar sounds to follow, and this is the Green Day that I’ve wanted to hear to since the very beginning of the trilogy. The sick bass lines formed by Mike Dirnt come at you around the 3:17 mark as Bille Joe screams of California’s destruction post guitar solo. Rounding back to the melody found in the beginning of the song at 4:25, “Dirty Rotten Bastards” turns into a tune that sounds like a deranged Christmas Carol without any of the context. It ends big, and by far, this is Green Day pulling out the stops. Fricking fantastic.
But we’re not done yet. “99 Revolutions” aims towards politics and reminds me of The Ramones infused with the quicker tempo/updated sounds of Green Day. The track would fit well on 21 Century Breakdown. Maybe this was on the cutting room floor, but whatever the case, it’s solid.
Completing the trilogy is “The Forgotten,” which reminds me of “See the Light” from the aforementioned 21st Century Breakdown. A lone piano backing up Armstrong in the beginning, this somber serenade proves that despite their rage and love, Green Day can provide a tragic song with minimal use of instruments. It’s splendidly different, hypnotic, and beautiful and a fitting end to one hell of a ride. Rating: 9.5/10