Sound — 7
Warning: the first 20 seconds of buzz from overly excited fans may turn you off completely. As much as Green Day's latest live attempt, Awesome As F--k, excels when it comes to song choices and a disc title, the atmosphere almost seems fake. Not "here's some recorded fan orgasms"-fake, but kind of similar to the crowds you see on television during Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber concerts. The excessive yelps from females (let's hope) makes the aged punk rockers sound as if they're the kings of everything rock n' roll. Recordings of "Know Your Enemy" and "American Idiot" do justice with limitless momentum, but the latter track proves a fault: the material itself seems unorganized as rhythms flail around at different paces when transitioning from verse to chorus. The energy drives the live release yet fails to channel it in all areas; the band seems unmotivated at times ("She", "Going To Pasa") and only really erupts on the more popular radio numbers ("Holiday"). The lackadaisical approach could be attributed to their punk, I don't-care-what-you-think attitude which drips off early Green Day material like "Geek Stink Breath" and "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?". The question is however, does the shtick work for a live record? Not if you plan on spinning the album regularly and not just at a party when the parents are out of town.
Lyrics — 8
From a lyrical point of view, Awesome As F--k has the ability to keep the entertainment level at a standstill. The sound isn't as emphatic as other live albums, but the tracklisting can grab your attention, introducing you to Green Day's history, highlighting points when they were a group of nobodies, a rising phenomenon and aging rock stars. Taking content from various years is risky. Taking songs with lines like "Cause you know where I'll be found / When I come around," is smart. The disc's structure overshadows Billie Joe Armstrong's ramblings, cursing and odd shouting matches with the audience and so it should. Awesome As F--k doesn't shove a dozen chart-topping singles down your throat; it sedates you in doses, depending on your preference, and concludes with a blast of acoustic anthems that are hard not to know the words to by heart.
Overall Impression — 7
Similar to most early 2000s' fetishes, Green Day has slowly deteriorated over the years. They provided teens with a personal gateway into the world of punk and lyrics that begged to be etched into anything made out of wood. One musical and one mediocre album later, the alt rock giants have been chipped down to veteran musicians who still have that sparkle in their eye to perform. No matter your taste, the release Awesome As F--k shows both sides; a few tracks remind you of those anti-anything-good-for-you times while others slowly enforce why Green Day is slowly fading into an empty black sea. Most importantly, the record highlights a career and though it doesn't excel as a masterpiece collection of recordings, it's a definitive choice for those days where you just want to lose it to the tune of old-school chaos.