So, taking a momentary pause from my Zappapost series, I felt I could garner a little more reader support by doing another vs. post. So, featuring today are two California bands both with origins in the late 80’s and with commercial success in the 90’s: The Offspring and Green Day.
The Offpring is a pseudo-metal/rap/mexicana band that spread several hits over the decade of the 90’s. Taken individually, “Come Out and Play”, “Ixnay on the Hombre”, and “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” are cool singles and rather inventive in their mashups of various styles. But having tried to listen to their 8 studio albums in the car, I found myself hitting the skip button quite a lot. Much of their music sounds pretty similar and particularly in the 00’s, Conspiracy of One, Splinter and Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace were particularly disappointing. Perhaps they were a bit too blown away by their sudden success with Smash in 1994 which remains their strongest album by a longshot.
I already reviewed Green Day late last year. In comparison to The Offspring’s original quartet, Green Day started and has often played as a trio. They also had a huge commercial break with Dookie in 1994 thus striking me as something I could compare. Both bands can be considered post-punk with Green Day being musically closer to their brethren such as Social Distortion, DKs, Chilis, and my cousin’s band who opened for them forever ago, The Muggers (or was it a different band then?). I felt that Green Day’s musical output after Dookie was rather bland (another similarity to The Offspring). However, and here is perhaps where they differ the most, Billy Joe Armstrong’s song writing suddenly became far more politicized and the music pulled together incredibly on their 2004 classic, American Idiot. A true rock opera of the late Dubya era, this album is every bit as good as Dookie if more mature. I was however very disappointed with the followup 21st Century Breakdown which sounded too derivative a copy of American Idiot for me. I haven’t yet purchased a copy of the latest disk that came out about a month ago, Awesome as F**k but will probably do so shortly as since it is live and as I did like Bullets on the Bible quite a lot, it is probably worthwhile.
So, in the Cali-Post-Punk-94Breakthrough Band Battle, I give Green Day a clear victory here. Perhaps The Offspring will surprise us someday, but I rather doubt it…