The best way to end 2020
There are questions people might never get answered, like what’s the purpose of life or who is The Network? Well, they are DEFINITELY not Green Day. It remains a mystery future generations might be able to answer, but till then, this generation can enjoy The Network’s newest album Money Money 2020 Part II: We Told Ya So!
The band’s first album, Money Money 2020, was released all the way back in 2003. The band blessed the audience with pop-punk beats mixed with the typical Devo (but definitely not Devo) style new wave. Mixing Green Day and Devo would make a great and exciting combo, and they would probably make an album that sounds like that.
But who are these mysterious characters behind The Network? It might just be an educated guess, but vocalist and lead guitarist Fink sounds a lot like Billie Joe Armstrong, the bass guitar by Van Gough feels like the signature of Green Day’s Mike Dirnt and drummer The Snoo could be the long lost twin of Tré Cool. And let’s not forget Balducci, who could be related to Green Days touring guitarist Jason White. The identity of Z and Captain Underpants still remains a mystery, but Devo might have some answers.
Being absent for 17 years led to a lot of creativity. The album could easily be separated into two albums, with its whopping 25 tracks and overall playtime of 55 minutes. Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride. This album has it all: political messages mixed with social commentary about anti-maskers, Karens, conspiracies and a The Office reference (who doesn’t love a good The Office reference?).
Before releasing Money Money 2020 Part II, the band offered a little taste in the form of the Trans Am EP. The Ep contains “Trans Am,” “Flat Earth,” “Fentanyl” and “Ivankkka Is A Nazi.” “Threat Level Midnight” also found some early love.
While listening to the album, the audience needs to be aware that even though the band’s story is all fun and games and the beats are electric and funky, the messages are real, and they are important. “Respirator” has a fun beat but tells the story of an anti-masker getting sick with COVID and ultimately dying from it. These things happen, and they are serious.
But of course, there are the fun, non-sensical songs as well. “Hey Elon,” targeting Grimes’ Husband and Space X founder Elon Musk. Musk famously sent a car into space, and the song leans on that with the line, “Hey Elon, you left your radio on/ And now your spaceship’s batteries are dead.” The lyrics to the next song, “Popper Punk,” are just one-word “Amyl Nitrite.” A quick google search leads that the drug is indeed Poppers. The more you know.
The last track on the album, “The Art of The Deal With The Devil,” is a clever notch to the famous book written by Trump. The song is less hyper than most of the other songs, like “Carolina’s Ultimate Netflix Tweet” or the instrumental piece “Pizzagate.” Political or not, the creativity behind them is what makes every song a highlight.
25 songs is a lot, but Money Money 2020 Part II: Told Ya So! is worth spending time with. It’s never dull and has everything from humor to seriousness. The sound is totally different, and that’s what makes The Network such an exceptional band. Like Green Day and Devo did for their own genres, The Network does so for the combination of these certain genres.