Green Day

Transmissions

Written by: PP on 05/10/2007 03:55:00

Alright, hands up who think "American Idiot" is the worst album Green Day has written aside from maybe "Warning"? o/! Yep, I belong to that 'old school' group of fans who loved everything pre-Dookie, and the few records that followed after that ("Nimrod", "Insomniac"), but mostly despise the new record. I mean it has some good songs on it, but the majority of them are overproduced, over-inflated balladic pieces of crap that have nothing to with the punk rock scene that Green Day originally started with. The extremely rare, already now out-of-print cd "Transmissions" celebrates the band's music from the pre-"Dookie" era. It comprises of thirteen songs found on "Kerplunk" and "39/Smooth", that were recorded live during a WFMU radio broadcast in 1992, and five classic "Dookie" songs recorded during Woodstock 1994 when the band was touring in support of that release.

As you might have guessed, the recording quality is a bit crap, after all these tracks were recorded back in 1992 and even with today's digital mastering technology it's difficult to resuscitate sounds that didn't get caught by the equipment 15 years ago. But even so, classics like "409 In Your Coffee Maker", "2000 Lightyears Away", "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield" (arguably the best song the band has written that nobody knows about) sound amazing, at least if you're like me and have had those records collecting dust for the last couple of years. The guitars sound crisp and lo-fi, and Billie Joe doesn't sound like a rock star more than a young punk rocker. You can hear the youthful spirit and innocence of the band while they are playing the songs, it's the sound of a band that hasn't yet travelled the world and sold 60 million records (and counting). I guess you could call it a refreshing change when all you hear these days is that stupid "Wake Me Up When September Ends" song that's about as punk rock as my mom is a hip hopper.

If you thought the quality of the first 13 tracks was bad, then wait till you hear the Woodstock live songs - they really sound like they were recorded inside a bottle or something. The sound is hollow and the guitars almost indistinguishable, but fortunately you can still hear Billie Joe's well enough to sing along to the classics. "Long View" is still my favorite Green Day song ever, and no matter in what quality I'll hear it, I'll always cherish it as one of the most special Green Day songs, and so should you. "Basket Case" sounds exactly like it does on that 1994 breakthrough video of the band, it's just weird not to have the entire crowd singing along because they simply just weren't that known yet.

A true fan will of course already own "Kerplunk" and "39/Smooth", so for those this record will bring little value, even if it does house five live songs in the end and the in-between song banter is kind of funny every now and then (apparently if you "eat shit you won't die" contrary to what you always hear). But for those legions of new fans who came long with "American Idiot" and probably went back and bought "Dookie" and maybe even "Insomniac", this is a great way of discovering how OUR favorite band sounded like before they became YOUR favorite band a decade later.

6

Download: Who Wrote Holden Caulfield, 2000 Light Years Away
For the fans of: early Blink 182, early The Offspring, Operation Ivy
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.07.2007
Storming Music Company

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