Green Day



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Having pushed back the boundaries of what Americans call punk with a couple of narrative-driven concept albums, Green Day seem incapable of simply releasing a back-to-basics standalone record. And so, over the space of three months, we've been treated to 37 new songs over three separate albums. Where ¡Uno! and ¡Dos! were effectively high-speed delivery systems for the band's trademark power-pop ditties, ¡Tre! feels like the most complete and diverse album of the three, as it flexes its stylistic muscles with the old-fashioned rock'n'soul (complete with horn section) of opener Brutal Love, the Beatlesque shapes of Drama Queen and the sea shanty swell of Dirty Rotten Bastards. Despite its title, Sex, Drugs And Violence offers a punk spirit as cleaned-up as modern-day New York, and there's a polish to all the songs that betrays American Idiot's acceptable-for-Broadway public face. But if the Uno-Dos-Tre trilogy is the sign of a band clearing out the bottom drawer, you've got to wonder what they'd save for something special: the worst here would count as the best from many other punkish ensembles.

Alan Morrison