Yeah, OK. What can I say about this record that hasn’t already been said before? Not much. I had it long after I owned Kerplunk and 1,039/Slapped Out Happy Hours… it was a natural progression, for me. I’ve always loved the energy, here. Overplayed? Sure. Easily dismissed? Too much, so. Definitely.
Picture yourself in a little punk band, probably still practicing in a garage. You might play at the club occasionally. Your local following is solid but small. Imagine you only know a few chords, but you believe in yourselves and you have that brash, snotty angst that only painfully-young people can perfect. Now, take shitloads of major label money and cough up the most infectious, perfectly-formed hairball you can imagine… and you’ll get this record.
Every single song is a single, in and of itself. It’s all done to perfect effect, whether you write it off or not. Look… if you hate it, volume helps. Turn it the hell up and do your damndest to not tap your toes to any these tracks, if you’re so hardcore, you bastard. Bet you can’t do it.
Surely I don’t even need to mention song titles or go through every track like you haven’t heard it all a zillion times already. Yes, the hits are here. Yes, the songs that should have been hits are also here. And yes, you know all the words. The three-chord bratty brilliance is intact. The recording is unimpeachable. Does it stand up? Hell yes. History will prove that, for whatever its detractors may say about how this is the exact point where the band sold out, and for whatever half-baked political-rock opera Billy Joe farts out of his brain next, this particular record is a culmination of the band’s early sass and energy, a snapshot of a group (finally) fully realizing the simplicity of its hypnotic power… and then gleefully speeding everything up and saying fuck you to anyone who takes it too seriously with songs about masturbation and disillusionment.