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Album Review: Green Day - Awesome As Fuck

Like most major stadium rock bands who seem to release a new studio album every 3 to 5 years, the standard and (kinda predictable) live album release often keeps fans tied over until new material sees the light of the day. Green Day in 2011 are a stadium rock band, its a fact you can't deny even if you did see them play some intimate venue back in 1994. For Green Day and its fans, 2005's 'Bullet in a Bible' documented a great achievement for the punk legends; two sell-out shows at the Milton Keynes National Bowl which saw the trio play to over 100,000 people.

Six years and one poor album later; why did I give '21st Century Breakdown' a 4 out of 5? it's pretty dreadful. Another live album in the form of 'Awesome As Fuck' sees the light of day. Whilst 'Bullet in a Bible' flourished with a strong set list, 'Awesome As Fuck' lacks punch in terms of songs. Whilst the classic Green Day songs come in the form of 'Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)'; which is thankfully all acoustic compared to the version on 'BIAB'. 'When I Come Around' and 'Geek Stink Breath' will please fans of the bands older work.

However the first half of the collection is dominated by the bands recent efforts. Whilst tracks like 'Know Your Enemy' and '21st Century Breakdown' were stand out tracks on '21st Century Breakdown' and are good songs, compared to the old songs on here.

Elsewhere the inclusion of tracks like 'Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?' and 'Going To Pasalacqua' will attract long time, die hard fans but for general listeners could bring a sense of unfamiliarity and are certainly not songs I'd include in a 'best of' collection.

Whilst '¡Viva La Gloria!' and 'Cigarettes And Valentines' fail to become favourable in a live setting; it's just standard Green Day whose formula is becoming tiresome

Performance wise, the band as a whole put on a good show although Billie Joe's crowd anticipation quickly becomes over-bearing; there are only so many times you can hear Armstrong encouraging the crowd to go "ah ah ah". Nevertheless the bands transition to becoming a well-rounded stadium rock band comes off well.

Ultimately the song selection on this collection of live recordings let's down what is a decent live album. In comparison to 'BIAB', the latter is more consistent and rounded as 'Awesome As Fuck' justifies itself as a stop-gap release that is more than likely to please major fans of the band, whilst 'BIAB' was an ideal starting point for fans (not including 'International Superhits' of course.)

If you have everything else by Green Day, this is just about worth adding to your collection, otherwise I'd just forget about this and wait another five years till the band release anything new.


'Awesome As Fuck' by Green Day is released on March 21st through Reprise Records.

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Sean Reid

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