After being accused of selling out with Dookie, Green Day decided to go in the opposite direction with Insomniac, a dark punk rock album which most people forget about. But in dark times bands can produce some of their best, just look at Weezer’s Pinkerton, and Insomniac is a fantastic blast of heavy punk before they went the American Idiot route. I can’t sleep just thinking about that.
Insomniac deals with the depression, panic attacks and self loathing, topics I just adore! There is no time for peaceful melodies and each track is a quick dose of meaty punk rock music. From ‘Armatage Shanks’ all the way to ‘Walking Contradiction’ there is no lull, the strong energy the band give out just can’t be stopped. The lack of instant single fun means it takes a few listens for anything to latch on, but once it does the whole track list won’t let go. ‘Brain Stew’ is a particular highlight thanks to the stop start opening setting it out from the rest. People who don’t like Green Day will probably hate this, but for the fans this was the gift before they took a more epic approach with political concept albums. I really should have been a teen in the 90’s, right?! At least the music still fits my delinquent habits and shaky personality. It’s the empowering ‘you’re not alone’ type music that resonates so strongly with my soul!
I like this more than the other Green Day albums I’ve listened to (Dookie, American Idiot, 20th Century Breakdown) and it makes me want to take a trip further into their past. It was good people ripped into them for Dookie, otherwise we may never have gotten this.
An album to listen to when you can’t sleep. And you don’t want to.