Green Day : International Superhits!

Spiky-haired punk hits from the dads of dumb...

They’re the Nirvana of dumbass. While Kurt Cobain was nurturing his legions of kohl-eyed ledge-jumpers in 1994, over on the opposite side of giving-a-shit, Green Day were rallying together a new wave of leopard-spot-haired skatepunk goofballs with the Kurt[I]-baiting cry of “Do you have the time/To listen to me whine/About nothing and everything all at once?”[/I]

Suddenly the US alternative scene was split down the middle by IQ: Kurt wore dresses to challenge inherent gender prejudices; Billie Joe Armstrong wears

a prissy pinafore on the sleeve of this greatest hits compo because it lets him

moon at the drummer more easily. Kurt was on a mission to uncover the cancer devouring the very core of the human soul; Billie Joe would be overjoyed to uncover that frickin’ fourth chord.

As a direct result, every American rock band in 2001 is either grumpy or goofy, no in between. And that means either a) you’ve already stopped reading this review to go and weep silently along to the Staind album or b) ‘International Superhits!’ is your ‘Revolver’. ‘Welcome To Paradise’ and ‘Basket Case’ are the birthing howls of modern dufusrock. These are the tracks that made playing chugga-wugga three-chord Buzzcocks rip-offs while chewing on your mates’ phlegm ‘rad’, and allowedBlink 182, Sum 41, Jimmy Eat World , OPM and The Bloodhound Gangto forge successful careers out of fast songs about wanking, poo, piss, farts, skateboarding and failing to do sex with real girls.

It’s a dreadful warning to those bands too: wise up and die. When ‘Dookie’ was bombarding the charts with daisy cutters of pure dumbass – ‘…Paradise’, ‘When I Come Around’ and monkey-spanking anthem ‘Longview’ Green Day made popping zits feel like the radically sexy actions of a suburban culture anti-hero. Then, come the ‘Insomniac’ and ‘Nimrod’ albums, they caught a mild dose of politics (on ‘Stuck With Me’, ‘Walking Contradiction’ and ‘Jaded’) and the music immediately began sucking like a black hole full of Sham 69s. Hence the second half of the 21-track ‘…Superhits!’ could be used as Chinese power chord torture, culminating in the excruciating ‘Minority’, which breaks every UK law against sounding like The Levellers and should be taken from this place and hung by the neck until dead.

‘International Superhits!’ (a bit like calling a Mogwai album ‘Tunes A-Plenty!’, incidentally) isn’t rocket science. It isn’t even long division. It’s A plus C plus D-minor plus Adam And The Ants drumming for three minutes equals spontaneous moshpit combustion in the Reading area. And an annoyingly one-dimensional ‘Best Of’. Welcome to purgatory.

Mark Beaumont