Shade Of Green: A Green Day Tribute
Skunk Ape Records
by Michelle Lawlor
I don't know why I was surprised. I knew this would happen.
A Green Day tribute album? Has the band broken up? Have they stopped recording and touring? Has any member of the band quit or passed away? The answer to all of these questions (thank heavens!!) is a loud, resounding NO.
So why, then, a tribute album? The boys in Green Day are still very alive and kickin' ass, so what's the deal? The big to-do on this album is the Weezer cover of "Worry Rock", and that song alone makes the album worth buying. Yes, folks, Rivers Cuomo has done it again. A big Green Day fan himself, he put his own personal spin on the song and made it absolutely beautiful. Incorporating strings and a soft shuffling drum - it's moving, really. Chalk up another well-deserved high five for Mr. Cuomo.
However. The rest of the cd is absolute crap. There are several bands putting a generic, crappy pop-punk spin on the tunes, and all the while their lead singers are doing their best "Billie Joe." Um, I don't think so. Anyone can pick up their guitar and cover the song the way Green Day does it.
Am I the only one who thinks that a "COVER" should be a new band's spin on another band's song? I mean, seriously, make it unique. Make it YOURS. If I wanted to hear "2000 Light Years Away" the way Green Day plays it, I'd listen to Green Day. Which, coincidentally, this album makes me WANT to do because most of these bands have piddled all over themselves, belittling what Green Day has worked so hard for all these years - a distinctive sound. Follow in their footsteps if you admire them, but damn, don't copy them. Billie, Mike and Tre would kick your ass.
Now, don't get me wrong, a few bands have indeed put their own spin on the songs. Wirebox's cover of "When I Come Around" is indeed unique, however difficult to listen to. Inspection 12's cover of "F.O.D." is about the same. Maybe it's me, but maybe other bands should just leave Green Day material alone, and work on developing their own sound that may someday make them as influential as Green Day has been to so many bands. Then, maybe when crappy bands cover their songs with a craptastic fervence, they might understand my frustration.
As much as I would have liked to put my own band on this disc, I feel like I could never do Green Day justice. How do you pay homage (properly) to a band who's career spans 13 plus years and so much of modern music history? Here's how: you do it like Rivers did - humbly and beautifully, or, not at all.
If you love Green Day I wouldn't recommend purchasing this album because it will only piss you off - as it did me. Pick it up only for the Weezer cover and don't even bother listening to the rest of it.
You've been warned.
Michelle Lawlor is a Contributing Writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.