By TRICIA CALLAHAN
Imagine you’re Green Day circa 2005, surrounded by adoring fans and rave reviews. Then you’re faced with the challenge of creating an album even close to the caliber of your triple-platinum album, “American Idiot.”
Enter the Foxboro Hot Tubs, Green Day’s dirty little retro secret. Side bands are nothing new to Green Day, who also released “Money, Money 2020,” under the alias The Network in 2003.
Foxboro Hot Tubs’ debut album “Stop, Drop, and Roll” is a 12-track 60s throwback record. The music is softer rock than what you may be used to from a group like Green Day. There are moments that hum and explosions of music, that rely on instrumentation to enhance the sound instead of relying heavily on vocals. On this album, lyrics and vocals seem like an afterthought.
Green Day’s bass player Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool went by their given names Michael Pritchard and Frank Edwin Wright III, while the lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong went by his alter ego, Reverend Strychnine Twitch. Non-original members Jason White, guitarist, and background vocalist and keyboardist Jason Freese add a unique instrumental element to Green Day’s usual punk-rock sound.
Clues to Green Day’s background are hidden throughout the album. Foxboro was a neighborhood that Mike Dirnt and Billie Joe Armstrong grew up in Rodeo, Calif. As for the other half of the band title, “Hot Tubs” refers to the hot tubs they would sneak into in Foxboro, occasionally with girls. “Ruby Room,” a track on the new album, references a bar in Oakland, Calif. where Dirnt, Cool and Armstrong are Ruby Room regulars.
All joking aside, the music produced by Foxboro Hot Tubs slips back to times when neon green slip covers where popular. With lyrics like “Mother Mary take my hand / I’ll be your saint I’ll be your man,” your mind and body will hum with delight.
Green Day confessed their involvement in an email to MTV. Their statement read, “All things considered, The Network or Green Day would make excellent openers for a Foxboro Hot Tub tour.”
Sick of waiting for Green Day’s return? Pick up a copy of “Stop, Drop, and Roll,” a little chunk of Green Day history.