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Review: Green Day – ¡Dos!

Billie Joe & Co. stumble and flounder in the second of three new albums.

The most difficult part with any trilogy is the middle. When Green Day announced they were going to drop three albums of new material, I was impressed. Like them or hate them, Green Day have gone to the mat enough to show they are solid songwriters with an ear for constructing easily digestible and fun power-pop tunes.  Uno came out and it was solid, actually much better than I expected. Now Green Day have dropped Dos, the second part of the trilogy and, thus far, its weakest.

Opening Dos is “See You Tonight”, an acoustic song with no pay off, which leads into “Fuck Time” a mid-tempo tune that feels like an amalgam of any number of sixties garage rock bands. The most interesting thing about “Fuck Time”, is the two-measure solo sounding exactly like Georgia Satellites’  “Keep Your Hands To Yourself.” Coming off the flat “See You Tonight”, “Fuck Time” doesn’t jump-start Dos the way it needs to.

“Stop When The Red Lights Flash” helps the momentum build some, though it’s hard to ignore how much the main riff sounds like Billy Squire’s “Everybody Wants You”. “Lazy Bones”, which sounds very close to The Buzzcocks classic “Ever Fallen In Love”, feels like it might be the song to jump-start Dos, but it never quite gets there. Then, inexplicably, Green Day grind the album to a halt with “Wild One”, a meandering tune that dips its toe into the world of doo-wop. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Green Day using doo-wop but do it after you’ve established the power and tone of the record, not before.

“Make Out Party” is the first real High Rocktane jam from Dos and it appears at the halfway point. Once again the impossibly solid rhythm section of Mike Dirnt (bass) and Tre Cool (drums), take a decent riff and make it into a great song. “Stray Heart” is another doo-wop jam with smatterings of the Phil Collins cover of “Can’t Hurry Love”.

 “Ashley”, “Baby Eyes” and “Lady Cobra” are the best Dos have to offer. They are a hat trick of great tunes. If the entire album were songs as strong as these. Dos would have been a proud counterpart to Uno. Right as you're riding the high of these three songs, Green Day take out a shotgun titled “Nightlife” and blow a hole in the chest of their record. “Nightlife” is flat out terrible, sounding more like a bad Keisha song than something Green Day would write. Damage done, Dos has no choice but to limp it its end.

The most frustrating thing about Dos is that it isn’t a bad album, it just never comes together because it never feels like it really begins. Instead of a cohesive second installment, Dos is more akin to a thrown together collection of unreleased tracks. An album where you forgive the lack of cohesion and vision just because you have a batch of songs you never heard before. IfDos wasn’t going to be a superior album to Uno, it should have been a rock solid effort that carried fans into the final stage of the Green Day trilogy.

Unfortunately, it’s neither.