May 7, 2014
A 2014 Record Story Day exclusive, Green Day’s “Demolicious,” is a compilation of demos and unreleased tracks from the 2012 “¡Uno!,” “¡Dos!” “¡Tré!” trilogy.
Not to sound like the proverbial music snob, but I’ve always liked Green Day’s earlier work, such as “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours,” and “Dookie,” when compared to their recent efforts, like 2009’s “21st Century Breakdown.” Green Day was the first real
band I saw in concert, when they were on their “American Idiot” tour in 2005, and they have a special place in my music-loving heart.
I was wary about listening to this compilation album, but it ended up being my favorite album of 2014.
The tracks on “Demolicious” are raw and unproduced, bringing back the early ’90s Green Day sound. Billie Joe Armstrong’s vocal attitude sounds once again like an angst-filled young adult, instead of the 40-something he is today.
The album’s only track that wasn’t featured in the “¡Uno!,” “¡Dos!” “¡Tré!” trilogy is “State of Shock.” With lyrics such as, “Make a mess from my amusia/I’m going under anesthesia/I’m holding on for life/Should I be concerned?” this song sounds like it belonged on 1992’s “Kerplunk” album.
Another track to check out is “Oh Love,” which was originally released as a single off of “¡Uno!” The demo version is reminiscent of “American Idiot” and so much better than the polished, trilogy version.
The first demo version of “Stay the Night” is driven by Armstrong’s guitar, and the lyrics are pop-punk at its finest. The second demo version is in a whole different field, because it’s acoustic.
Armstrong allows himself to become vulnerable and changes the song from a pop-punk anthem to a heartbreaking one-man song. His usual whiny voice changes to a meek, lower-tone sound. It’s a serious treat for Green Day fans and makes the whole album worth listening to just to get to that last track.
I would recommend this album to any Green Day fans, whether they like the band’s early work or not. Demo versions of songs give the audience a chance to hear how the band sounds before being produced.
I was pleasantly surprised by “Demolicious,” and I think other listeners will be, too. It goes to show that underneath Green Day’s commercial success, there’s still a punk band full of attitude and grit.