Green Day

Reprise, 1997

REVIEW BY: Eric Warburg


What IS a nimrod? Is it something you call an idiot? Or a little known hunter from the book of Genesis? Actually, it's both of those. And it's also one hell of a CD.

Green Day's third major-label release (and fifth overall) marks the beginning of the Nor-Cal punk band's transition from "All By Myself" to "Whatsername." This album is mixed with their trademark immature songs ("The Grouch," "Platypus") and songs showing their growth into the band we know today ("Good Riddance," "Worry Rock.") This album shift gears as often as Elizabeth Taylor changes husbands, yet manages to keep it steady enough to make it through.

Nimrod starts off with a classic Green Day song, "Nice Guys Finish Last," which gives way to "Hitchin' A Ride," which starts eerie and ends as a head-bobbing scream-along. Next is "The Grouch," with such memorable lines as "Glory days don't mean shit to me / I drank a six-pack of apathy," and "Oh my God, I'm turning out like me dad!"my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"Scattered," "All The Time" and "Worry Rock" are where you begin to see Billie Joe Armstrong's new musical and lyrical style begin. He is no longer about laughing in other people's faces, singing about teenage boredom and the things that go with it (think "Longview"). He moves forward in the direction that would eventually blossom into American Idiot.

But that doesn't last long. The fast paced, "F*ck me? F*ck you!" attitude of "Platypus (I Hate You)," shows that Armstrong isn't ready to leave the Dookie era just yet. Sample lyric: "When you go down / Head first into the ground / I'll stand above you just to piss on your grave." 'Nuff said.

Who said this album was gonna be predictable? Once again, the gears shift for "Uptight," a softer rock song about a guy on the verge of suicide. "Perfect picture of bad health / Another notch scratched on my belt / The future just ain't what it used to be." And again the music shifts back to '60s rock and more Warning-esque style Green Day. After a few songs, a trumpet manages to replace guitar as the main source of melody for the glorious song about cross-dressing, "King For A Day." Armstrong professes his yearning to be a "GI Joe in panty-hose" on occasion. When the song is played in concert each member of Green Day dons some sort of female attire, save Billie Joe, who prefers a crown and cape.

And then there's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." The slow song about reflecting on what you once had is the same one that got played at EVERY high school graduation for the class of '98, and yet I never get tired of listening to it because it's that good.

This release manages to cover all of Green Day's bases and stretch out towards new ones never touched by punk rock. Most definitely a transition album from the three-chord formula of their peers into their musical potential, Nimrod hooks you with Dookie charm and holds you there with American Idiot grace.

Rating: A-

User Rating: B+


© 2005 Eric Warburg and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Reprise, and is used for informational purposes only.