Green Day's second album for Lookout! Records, which would also be their last released by an independent label, is a charming pop punk romp which hides a surprising level of musicianship behind bubblegum-y melodies and a lighthearted, devil-may-care sneer. When I was in my early teens and first being exposed to punk rock, the two indie albums from the East Bay's most famous punkers were practically unavoidable. I always preferred Kerplunk because the lyrical content was slightly stronger (fewer simple love songs and more introspective brooding, something that suited me perfectly at that age) and also, I have no doubt, because of the striking cover art. I must have sketched that smiling potted flower on the cover of nearly every text book I had between 9th and 10th grade, and to this day the spare, barely colored drawing is one of my favorites.

September 2014

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