In the green corner, weighing in at 20-million global sales, and the album that seemingly turned the whole world onto snot, spit and snarky lyrics: Dookie, from 1994. And in the red corner, the album that, a decade later, made Green Day the biggest punk band in the world again, with 14-million global sales and a black eye for a certain U.S. president: 2004’s American Idiot.
Two equally punch-packing albums. Two records that sold in such numbers that they made Green Day a phenomenon, and electrified an entire generation of rock fans each. It’s a fair fight. But an ultimately redundant one. Because, halfway between these two behemoths, we have a new challenger.
In 1997, Green Day made an album that may not have punched quite the same commercial weight as Dookie or American Idiot, but stands more than equal to them musically. That album was Nimrod. It’s Green Day’s best one…
I’m not just saying this because it exists in a land of rose-tinted, Lynx Africa-reeking teenage nostalgia, where it played in the background while I did stupid things, dressed in a manner far out of my style range (and for a 14-year-old meddling in 1997 rock fashion, that took some doing), and thought three cans of lager between four would get a person Oliver Reed-drunk. It did, but that’s not the point. The songs – Scattered, Haushinka, The Grouch – are all hormone-pumping, lip-curling, ear-hijacking pearls of perfection.