Foxboro Hot Tubs
Foxboro Hot Tubs makes sense. It is Green Day (Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool) plus sidemen Jason White and Jason Freese. White, a guitarist, had worked with Green Day since '99 and was also a member of another Green Day spin-off, Pinhead Gunpowder. Freese, who played both guitar and keyboards, was all over Green Day's classic album "American Idiot."
Here's the brilliant part. Having a band with long-time sidemen as members gives them a chance at fame and fortune (or at least a bigger cut). Second, the project lets Green Day put out an album that won't instantly be compared with "American Idiot," even if it has the same people on it. "American Idiot" was huge - "Dookie" huge. It's hard to follow-up an album that fans, critics and even shallow media types think is brilliant beyond belief. Whatever comes next is going to seem like a let down. "American Idiot" was of a time (the collapse of the wayward Bush era).
So why set yourself up for failure? The trick is to do something low risk that will catch everybody's attention. So Foxboro Hot Tubs recorded live to an eight-track a handful of tunes and posted them online in late '07. That got the buzz going.
It's not really a Green Day album but a side project - or is it? A full-blown follow-up or a toss off filler? "Stop Drop And Roll!!!" landed in May, '08.
Speculation around Foxboro Hot Tubs ran the gamut. Was this an augmented Green Day without "American Idiot's" in-your-face politics or the group's stab a Garage Rock? Actually, neither. "Stop Drop And Roll!!!" is an ingenious conglomeration of '80s Punk and the goofier side of Wave. Add to that a healthy dose of mid-60's post-British Invasion/pre-psychedelic American Rock. The production, including the snazzy backing vocals, removes it from the Garage realm but a casual and somewhat superficial charm remains intact.
From start to finish this is a fun set featuring "Ruby Room's" Farfisa organ beneath slashing chords and campy Punk. "Alligator" and "27th Ave. Shuffle" are undeniable dance-Rock tracks while "Red Tide" borrows from the Kinks and "The Pedestrian" does the same with the Stray Cats. "She's A Saint Not A Celebrity" does the best job of melding the Wave-Punk elements and "Dark Side Of Night," with a flute, is pure retro-60s. The set opens with two killer efforts, the tittle track and "Mother Mary." After that, "Stop Drop And Roll!!!" is unstoppable.