I was 17 years old the first time I heard Greenday’s second studio album. At the time there was a record store near the school I went to in Santa Monica, called Penny Lane Records. The store was cool because they had a lot of used records and this is one that I purchased for cheap. I’d say I only paid like five dollars for it. “Kerplunk” seemed so cool to me at the time. It was the year 2000 by the time I got my grubby hands on this one, and of course the rest of their records.
Kerplunk is solid, but it didn’t have the heavy bass and treble that the Reprise records sound had for “Dookie”. Aside from that, it really is a solid record with a lot to boast about. If you read the history about this record, you’ll realize that the band’s initial push sold roughly 50,000 copies of this out of the door. It was re-released later on, and to date it has sold millions of copies, well beyond the Lookout! The sound of this record really is lacking, the bass is pronounced, the guitar work is good, but the production is lighter than their semisonic sound found on “Dookie”. You can tell that the band really matured in studio by the time their megahits started coming out.
This record sounds like it was recorded in a garage, not the heavy production model that you would get from “Dookie”, but that doesn’t stop the record from being stellar. I love the way the tracks flow, and even the bonus tracks that made up the “Sweet Children EP”. Funny thing, I had the EP on 7” vinyl from a long time ago, and well I sold it in 2011 when I got a divorce. Moscow, Idaho you hell of a city, you have all my records and I’ll probably never get them back!
The stand out tracks for me include: “2000 Light Years Away”, “Christie Road”, “Dominated Love Slave”, “Android”, “Welcome To Paradise”, and the likes. It’s a bit disjointed at times, but it’s a strong piece of Greenday history. For those that may not know, “2000 Light Years Away” was featured on the “Jerky Boys” movie soundtrack.
New fans of the band will find that this is a very “young” sounding Greenday. Yes, it’s a good record, but I can’t avoid telling you that the sound levels are set at a lower decibel than you would expect from their major label records. I was just listening to “Warning” the other day, for example, and that reminded me at times, about how “Kerplunk” sounds, especially with some of the latter tracks on that record, but of course, the money spent on recording and marketing major label records is far more than you would get with this one, and others from the early Greenday catalog.