January 25, 2007

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Green Day, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hour
Reprise Records, 2007

More mystique peels from modern punk’s music-business-what-music-business façade as we learn that the “1,039” actually designates the number of times Green Day planned to re-release their early no-budget records if they ever went wide. Of course, if the band’s original Lookout label hadn’t ripped them off in the first place, the reissuing of the package containing the prehistoric 1000 Hours and Slappy EPs along with 1990’s 39/Smooth LP wouldn’t have become an annual event, and at least the Warner conglomerate was discriminating enough not to attempt to piece out the instrumentation and clean it up with some giant computer bank. This is the no-budget, Maximum Rock n Roll-begging material frighteningly alien to the polliwogs who scream and flick their Bics to “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” in the climate-controlled safety of today’s corporo-domes, all the stuff sounding as though it was recorded on an answering machine, but fans possessed of sincere interests in drilling this deep will unearth the ancient ancestors of today’s mega-hits, for example “At the Library,” which was salvaged for “American Idiot.” B+ Eric W. Saeger