Let’s just get one thing straight: The Network are NOT Green Day. It’s been confirmed by Billie Joe Armstrong himself. Any comparison to Green Day throughout this review is just because they COINCIDENTALLY use quite a few elements common in the iconic pop-punk band’s sound, and their singers sound a bit (lot) like the trio that make up said pop-punk legends. So that’s that.
Opening with “The Prophecy,” making the album’s message loud and clear: WE TOLD YOU SO!, this band might think they’re superior beings with otherworldly knowledge, but is there any need to be so mean about it? Geez.
From start to finish, Money Money 2020 Pt II: We Told Ya So! is 55 minutes of insanely catchy, energetic new-wave bangers that give you something to groove to while they’re informing and insulting you.
The entire Trans Am EP is here, with stand-out tracks like “Ivankkka is a Nazi” standing out just as much on this full length (and then some) album.
Instrumentally it’s a class act top to bottom with some Green Day-esque riffage scattered throughout (they’re not Green Day, though), and each of the six members: Fink, Van Gough, The Snoo, Z, Captain Underpants, and Balducci, bringing their own incredible skills, like the bass-heavy “Trans Am” and “Art of the Deal with the Devil,” or the sleazy, arrogant guitar parts of “Fentanyl” and “Degenerate.”
If we’re lazily generalizing, The Network are a new-wave band, but the vast array of songs—and it is vast; when was the last time you listened to an album with TWENTY-FIVE tracks on it?—on Part II mix in a multitude of elements from so many different genres. The electronic-pop apparent on a large chunk of the album gives way at times for industrial, indie-rock, funk, and disco elements to have their moments. Then there’s the prevalent punk/pop-punk sound (and attitude for that matter) that’s at the core of The Network and their musical creation (reminder: they’re not Green Day).
Fink’s Billie Joe Armstrong-esque (not Billie Joe, cos they’re not Green Day) vocals have a great range, working well on the punkier tunes, as well as hitting the high notes on the dirtier grooves. Van Gough (who isn’t Mike Dirnt)’s deep vocals provide the record with the likes of Bowie-esque “Digital Black” and “Amnesia Vagabond,” and drummer The Snoo (not Tre Cool at all) can be heard sharing his unique voice on a pinch of the tracks.
Lyrically, when they’re not telling us “we told you so” and “you’re probably a moron,” and sharing their next-level knowledge on such relevancies as the COVID-19 pandemic (“Respirator”) and political/religious guffaws (“Jerry Fulwell’s Pool Party”), they’re spitting hilarious lyrics and sharing random stories of unwelcome house guests (“Squatter,” and “Tarantula,” if you think about it), the perils of wasting battery power on a spaceship (“Hey Elon”), and self *ahem* care (“The Stranger”).
Money Money 2020 Pt II: We Told Ya So! was 17 years in the making, and it’s not very often an album is worth a wait that long. Maybe it’s because it’s been given to us during this shit show dumpster fire of a year, but even with all the ‘we were right’ gloating and arrogance, it’s a record that would’ve been worth waiting an eternity.
Get Money Money 2020 Pt II: We Told Ya So! here.