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Green Day Unmasked?

The Network might call itself a new band, but exactly how green is this masked group?

On September 30, a mysterious five-piece group called the Network, a band “brought together by an ancient prophecy,” released its debut album, Money Money 2020, on the indie label Adeline Records.

Now, Internet sleuths believe they’ve sniffed out the true identity of the Network, and all clues point to Green Day. Or so they think.

First off, there’s no arguing the Network sounds like a new-wave version of Green Day, with such tunes as “Spastic Society,” “Supermodel Robots” and “Right Hand-A-Rama.” Plus, the band’s Adeline Records is run by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong.

But the purported links don’t stop there, and the more obscure the connection, apparently the better.

On the official Green Day Message Board, masteroffireandmusic, one fans writes, “Did anyone notice how the four main Green Day albums-Dookie, Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning-start with drums? Guess which other album starts with drums?”

“If you look at The Network’s biography,” adds one GDO in a post, “it says the singer is an Aquarius, and if you know Billie’s birthday (17 Feb), he is an Aquarius.”

And greendayfanuk notes, “This might sound weird and kinda stalker-ish, but if you have a look at the picture of the Network at the Adeline site, the drummer’s leg looks like Tre’s, and Tre is the only drummer I know that always wears shorts or short Dickie pants when he drums.”

While not every fan can pick Tre Cool’s leg out of a crowd, the band’s marketing bio provides further evidence of a possible Green Day-Network connection. Fink, the Network’s Aquarius singer, is said to finance the band, which of course appears on Armstrong’s label. Fink is a name familiar to Green Day aficionados-the group released “Ballad of Wilhelm Fink” on the Short Songs for Short People compilation, and a song written for an Armstrong side project is credited to a Wilhelm Fink.

Another Network member, Van Gough, is a dedicated vegan, just like Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt. While Captain Underpants could be Tre Cool, who once called himself King Underpants in a side project.

That leaves two remaining Network members unaccounted for: a former Mexican wrestler from Argentina named The Snoo and an Icelandic sculptor named Z.

An Australian Website, www.undercover.com/au, claims to know that The Snoo and Z are really both members of Devo, though the site offers no source or proof. But in a staged press conference available on the Adeline Website, the Network claims Devo as an influence. (During the same fake press conference, the band starts a fight after a reporter asks about a Green Day connection.)

When asked directly, a record label spokesperson said, “Adeline Records can neither confirm nor deny this rumor.” The Network was supposedly unavailable for interviews. Ditto for Green Day.

At Los Angeles’ influential KROQ radio station, morning hosts Kevin and Bean have already played cuts from the Network album and joked about who this group might really be. Additionally, the Network is set to play the Key Club in Hollywood next month, traditionally too large a venue for a new band to headline.

For most fans, though, the proof is in hearing Money Money 2020 itself, which is currently available at Virgin Megastore and Amoeba locations, as well as other indie-friendly record shops. The disc is also available online at www.adelinerecords.net.

As far as the “why” goes, some fans suggest this might be a new Green Day album that the band’s label, Reprise Records, rejected, while others think the band might be testing the waters for future change. Most fans, however, think the group was simply bored and looking to do something fun.

Still, not all fans are amused.

“How low can a band go to get some attention?” nouseforaname laments on the Green Day message board.

No matter what, writes a fan named insomniac, “I’m sure the guys in Green Day are having a blast watching all these confused people making such a huge deal out of this.”

As Green Day might say, “That’s no dookie.”

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