Bullet in a Bible Green Day
CD Review by Mike D'Ariano
/ 2/2006

Track listing
1. American Idiot 2. Jesus of Suburbia 3. Holiday 4. Are We The Waiting 5. St. Jimmy
6. Longview 7. Hitchin' A Ride 8. Brain Stew 9. Basket Case 10. King for a Day/Shout
11. Wake Me Up When September Ends 12. Minority 13. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
14. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

Label: Reprise/Wea / Release date: November 15, 2005

Okay, I hate the term sell out . . . at least in terms of it's common usage, i.e., this band I liked is getting popular, let me rip them apart. I was one of those guys ten years ago that vigorously defended bands like Green Day and Rancid as bands that absolutely had not sold out. It was just a case of them doing what they always did and people catching on.

On the other hand, I believe in the term sell out, when a band starts doing things that they never did before solely for the purpose of making more money, and Green Day - a band that I've loved for years are now getting very, very close to crossing that line. I felt that way when they put out an album of bandwagon Bush-bashing tunes six weeks before election day, but I kept my mouth shut well more or less kept my mouth shut. I felt that way when they started wearing those Avril Lavigne ties and stopped going anywhere without eye liner, but I kept my mouth shut. And I felt that way last September when I saw them play in Giants Stadium to 70,000 people and realized that they were officially over as a punk band, but were now some kind of pop monstrosity.

This isn't like ten years ago when they started selling lots of records, but were still playing punk rock songs about speed and jerking off. This is like they're selling lots of records, and it's okay to bring the kids because they're gonna be covering We Are The Champions and there will be fireworks at the end. A good friend of mine brought his nine-year-old daughter and she loved it. In other words, it's not exactly the Sex Pistols.

The show really upset me. If you check out the Year in Review article that I wrote last month, I said it was one of the year's biggest disappointments, but I chose not to write some nasty review of it. I'm sure some people loved it; it's just that I saw them ten years ago in Roseland before they became a caricature of themselves and that was incredible. This was mediocre at best.

Anyway, fast forward a few months and you get Bullet in a Bible, a 2 disc (1CD and 1 DVD) testament to this tour that I found really irritating. The DVD is made up of two concerts that they performed in England last year edited together to look like one show and there are some pointless interludes between songs which make the editing go smoother. The CD is simply the audio of the footage on the DVD minus the interludes.

The track listing is about the same as the show I saw minus the Operation Ivy cover and the Queen finale. They do all the new singles, by the way very punk rock to have 7 singles on one album - who are you Motley Crue? That's the same number you had off your first five albums combined. No, no, no, this isn't about making money at all . . . it's about the music, uh huh. And then they do a handful of the old singles, Longview, Basket Case, Minority . . . you know the deal. The only thing that's really unique, or at least worth the price of the damn thing, is King For A Day, which morphs into Shout at some point and then adds a splash of Always Look on The Bright Side of Life. But even that gets tiring after about two or three listens. The whole thing the new songs I don't like and the old ones I do just seems like they're just going through the motions and there's no passion to it at all.

But if you love American Idiot (someone recently told me it was the album of our generation . . . ugh. I didn't slap him, I just bought him an Allman Brothers ticket . . . that'll teach him a thing or two about music, damn it). Anyway, if you love American Idiot, then feel free to buy this and enjoy it like the moron that you are, but if it left a bad taste in your mouth, then Bullet in a Bible will make it worse. For a much better time, see if you can find the Japan-only E.P. "Tune In Tokyo&" which is a far superior live album in both song selection and energy level.

In closing I just want to say, wake me up when the hype for this over-rated album finally blows over.