Shenanigans

Pop-punk followers like blink-182 may have eclipsed Green Day in the past few years, but the Bay Area trio's 2001 best-of collection, International Superhits!, was an excellent reminder of how seductive this band can be when pumping out those three-chord, Modern Rock radio gems. Shenanigans is the flip side of Superhits!, collecting Green Day's B sides, cover tunes and other ephemera into a compilation that never quite jells. It kicks off smashingly, the boys cranking out the tuneful "Suffocate" with all the energy and snottiness of their biggest hits. But four songs later, things begin to break up. The covers of the Ramones ("Outsider") and the Kinks ("Tired of Waiting for You") are faithfully executed but not all that interesting; two of the B sides ("Don't Wanna Fall in Love" and "Rotting") are uninspired filler; and the surf instrumental "Espionage," Green Day's cut on the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack, seems out of place amid the bubblegum punk and hardcore. That's not to say there isn't plenty of fist-pumping fun here, particularly for die-hard fans: The fast-and-furious "I Want to Be on TV" thrashes like the band's pre-Dookie performances on Berkeley's Gilman Street punk scene; "Sick of Me" and the previously unreleased "Ha Ha You're Dead" are both solid loser anthems; and the shuffling "On the Wagon Again" is a surprising countryish charmer. In retrospect, this collection of odds and sods — and to a greater degree, Superhits! — proves Green Day were every bit as passionate as their first-generation punk heroes. So they fake British accents — big whoop!

From The Archives Issue 903: August 22, 2002