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So for the past couple of months or so there's been this band floating around on the Internet called Foxboro Hot Tubs that has a striking similarity (at least in some aspects) to a very famous band called Green Day. Speculations was that they were actually the same band just trying out a little side project with a different sound and a new name. The debate raged on and far too many news stories were written about the topic. Now we can finally put all that to rest because it has been revealed that they are indeed the same band.
I've been a Green Day fan for years, they're one of the very first bands I ever listened to back in my youth and became an instant favorite. To this day I still love to take a listen to the tracks of Kerplunk and Dookie, have some fun and maybe reminisce a bit. That said, I like to think I have also matured a little along with the band and feel that American Idiot is an incredible work and some of their finest music to date... just different than their earlier classics. I always thought that if they would be awesome writing more of their political views into their music because unlike some other modern "punk" bands, they seem to have the true punk spirit of the Clash, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones at heart. For me, American Idiot was a good confirmation of that (although they have always had political undertones if you ask me). Some Green Day fans may disagree about their last album, but hey... to each their own... it's all good.
When I first heard about this side project I didn't really know what to think and so I didn't follow up on it immediately, instead feeling pretty uninterested. Side projects don't always click for me and to put together one that was really just the same members of the band seemed a little redundant unless you're going to deviate extremely from the original sound. I don't think they have deviated too much with this new project, but certainly enough to distinguish between the two. Whether that deserves a name change I guess is debatable.
Names aside, it's really about the music and I'm actually really digging the Hot Tubs tracks, or at least the promos.
The 4 short promo tracks from the band's Myspace page seem to hearken back to the early to mid 1960s, or perhaps slightly later, like 1978 -1979 when the Clash were coming into their own as I hear a lot of that early punk scene in these songs. I think the band described it really well when they made the announcement about being the same band . They said: "...We are four guys who love to play music and be spontaneous, [and] after a few late night jams and a few too many bottles of wine, we were inspired to record some rockin' eight-track recordings." -- Punknews.org
"Eight-track recordings" is a good image because they certainly do sound more retro than much of the Green Day catalog. In a way though, I really think this brings them closer to their punk roots than ever before and that they might really excel in this new format. Of the promos, "Stop, Drop and Roll" might be my favorite because it seems like the Sonics reborn in all their gritty good times rock and roll glory. "The Pedestrian" and "Mother Mary" both seem to have lighthearted rockin' good fun at their heart too... the latter sounds especially reminiscent of the 60s to my ear. "Ruby Room" also sounds pretty cool, but also seems the closest to some of Green Day's work; the swaggering beat recalls one Green Day song in particular.
They all have a certain "Green Day-esque" quality to them (perhaps it's just Billy Joe's voice), but at the same time, seem completely different, new and fresh. I don't know what this means for Green Day, but it looks like they're not to content to look back on their legacy and are instead are pushing to make new and exciting music the way they want to. Sounds like it's producing some great results too whether under the Foxboro Hot Tubs name or Green Day, but time will tell.
I'm surprisingly pretty excited about hearing the whole album when it's finally released on May 13, 2008, seeing as how uninterested I was when I first heard about this side project. I'm looking forward to another Green Day album as well because who knows how it will compare... should be interesting.
If you're interested... and I think you might be whether you're a Green Day fan or just looking for some good rock and roll... check out the Foxboro Hot Tubs Myspace to check out the promo clips: http://www.myspace.com/foxborohottubs
You can also check out the band's homepage, although I was having a little technical problem with it, so beware: http://www.foxborohottubs.com/