Insomniac: A Retrospective

After the album of magnitude hit earth, an album that made Californian band Green Day a household name in 1994, they headed in a darker direction. Dookie stole the show, overthrowing anything created prior, and it even shadows over Green Day’s most recent ventures. In 1995 Green Day tried to eclipse Dookie, they tried to power on, but didn’t hit the heights. Insomniac was born, Green Day were jubilant about what they produced, and their eyes were on the prize, fixated on a golden opportunity.

Insomniac isn’t a bad record. It is an album of darker overtones and even darker undertones. It plays well, its aged well, but it doesn’t hold up to Dookie and its masterful array of punk scores. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote these songs with fire inside his alcohol fuelled belly, he looked for gratitude and joyous critique. But, there’s a line between wonderful and standard, and to be frank, Insomniac isn’t a masterpiece but a damn enjoyable listen if you’re looking for fast paced, dramatic, entertaining lyricism and three chord progressions.

Dookie did take its toll on Green Day. Many people thought the band was going to end their tenure as kings of 90s music. Many punk revellers will disagree, but their dominance can’t be overlooked. They’re still to this day a popular unit, and with smash hit American Idiot keeping their influence intact. With Insomniac, Green Day was searching for a new level of consistency. They knew they had to outclass Dookie’s relevance, but it didn’t happen. Insomniac fell away, it cascaded down the pecking order. It’s a shame that this happened, as the opus delivers many blistering songs such as Stuck With Me and Geek Stink Breath. Those tracks pushed the album a little in terms of exposure.

Many people think Insomniac is far more complete than Dookie. They feel the darkness, they blank out the light. They’re preachers of punk rock, and they think Insomniac is a brilliant compendium which stamps out Dookie flash of brilliance. We all have our opinions, we all speak our minds, but there are many punk fanatics, who drown out Dookie and opt for Insomniac and its inconstancy.

Punk rock is a staple genre. It lives and breathes, it gathers hope. Green Day may not be a punk band in their modern form, but back in the 90s they definitely were a punk force. Insomniac may drafted with Green Day’s underwhelming albums, like recent LP Revolution Radio, which is littered with overly polished songs, but many people treat Insomniac like a guilty pleasure.

Green Day know they’ve made it. Well they made it in 1994. But it’s American Idiot which rejuvenated them and their sound. Many fans felt American Idiot hit the stomach of the mainstream too hard, but it helped the band reassess themselves and their abilities.

Insomniac is an obscure beast, one that may not be inducted into many collections, but there’s enough on it to entertain the punk in you.

Green Day: Website

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