And now this: it is the overdrive pedal that has had more comebacks than Sinatra, the one that captures Billie Joe Armstrong’s fierce, effervescent pop-punk rhythm guitar tone in a compact, pedalboard-friendly housing, and it is officially back, again… Yes, it’s the MXR Dookie Drive.
This really was a surprise announcement from MXR/Jim Dunlop, or was it? After all, by our counting, this is the fourth edition of the BJA signature drive pedal.
The first came in 2019, released to mark the 25th anniversary of the California punk institution’s landmark album, Dookie, and voiced to capture the electric guitar sounds on the recording. Then there was version 2 and version 3, each with revised artwork. And now, by popular demand, we have another.
Once again, version 4, if we are really calling it that, has a new design on the front, with an enclosure repainted in red. The controls – and the circuit – remain unchanged.
There are dials for Output, Gain, Tone and Blend, with a Scoop button for hollowing out some of the mids – a very popular move in the ‘90s, not least among the metal guitar crowd, but also for Armstrong. In his two-amp rig, one Marshall was scooped with the gain cranked, the other with more mids dialed in.
What made, or makes, the Dookie Drive so interesting is not just how easy you can dial in a tone – it is a bit like playing through two big guitar amps, running hot – but the versatility that comes by way of its Blend control, allowing you to mix the signal between the stack running at full throttle high-gain, and the other as crunch.
Now, by this point you might be asking yourselves, how many more times is MXR going to reissue this? Why not just add the Dookie Drive to the lineup and have at it? And you’d be forgiven for asking the question.
But technically speaking, if you are not someone who did it all for the Dookie, so to speak, you could get the same sounds – the same pedal, essentially – in MXR’s FOD Drive.
Getting the sound of modified Marshall amp stacks and housing them in a compact pedal was quite the achievement. Little wonder MXR wants to get it on as many pedalboards as possible. And if you’re a Green Day fan, this new paint job is pretty killer.
The street price for this v4 edition is $199 / £219. For more details on the current MXR lineup, head over to Jim Dunlop.