Foxboro Hottubs – Stop Drop and Roll

5 stars (out of 5)

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Green Day is playing dress up again! Some of you may have heard of The Network, well now there’s Foxboro Hottubs.

For those of you who don’t know, The Network is a band of mask wearing electro-punkers who sound suspiciously like Green Day. Their album Money Money 2020 was released just before Green Day’s massive album American Idiot changed so many teenagers in to red tie wearing Billie-Joe clones.

It’s no secret that Green Day’s method of writing an album is much akin to stabbing in the dark (basically they record upwards of ninety songs and see what sticks.) During that process it’s no surprise that some experimenting takes place. It’s that kind of experimentation that has lead to The Network and lately, Foxboro Hottubs.

Foxboro Hottubs are Green Day with a more stripped back sound. All of the songs are recorded on an 8-track, and one song on a 4-track – though you wouldn’t know. The look, the sound, the production – they all bleed 1960’s pop nostalgia. The CD even comes in a sleeve and is printed to look like a record. This however, isn’t as cool as it sounds. It was a nice idea but a cardboard sleeve is doomed to get squashed, broken and lost; plus there’s no lyric book or anything nice like that and it costs a shocking £8.99. My advice, buy the mp3’s online.

Often the songs sound exactly like the songs they are supposed to sound like. The song Alligator sounds like… well, no, it pretty much is You Really Got Me by The Kinks. The Who, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, they’re all there in some shape or form. It’s a tribute to the bands that they love, but their average fan doesn’t know much about. It’s endearing to find that Green Day have released an album under an alias so they can play live just for the fun of it. And it is a very fun record.

This is very possibly the Green Day album that would have been released if American Idiot hadn’t put quite so much pressure on them for a follow up. It sounds effortlessly good and I’ve listened to it so many times in the last few days that frankly, I’m sick of it. But that says more about me than the music.

It’s lovely to hear a new Green Day album, even if it isn’t quite Green Day. At the very least it’s a nice fix until the next album is released in 2009.