Pop- punk trio wind back the clock
BAY Area pop- punk band Green Day have not made an album like ! Uno! in ages.
Instead of the high- concept rock opera format that has become the trio’s staple for the past eight years, they have wound the clock back to the early ’ 90s to deliver a straight rock n’ roll record.
! Uno! is a dozen songs that do nothing more than mosh. It’s a bare bones, hard rocking, rapid fire punk album.
As well as being their most unadorned album in yonks, most songs are made of bass, drums, guitar and that’s it. It is also their least politically fuelled.
Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has taken a breather from railing against wars and presidents to crank out jams about normal folks, falling in love and getting boozy.
Feel like there is a but coming? It’s a pretty huge but . . . but this back- to-basics album is just part one of a triple album pack.
They have two more albums due in the next four months. Of course they do!
In Green Day Land nothing could be as simple as putting out a retro rocking release and leaving it at that. A trio of albums allows them plenty of time to turn the pomp- o- meter up to 11.
For now, fans of the band’s smash hit Dookie will find plenty to love on the short and sweet ! Uno!.
At 40 minutes total, only three of these new tunes hit four minutes in length. It’s all streamlined – get in, throw some punches, smash a guitar and get out.
Stay the Night is far and away the highlight, an effortless slice of pop that feels inspired by Cheap Trick.
Fast- paced rockabilly monster Let Yourself Go must have been written with concert performances in mind, it’s overstuffed with profanity and primed for shout- along audience interaction.
Loss of Control and the opener Nuclear Family are blasting, sneering punk songs, LoC dismissive of trendy scenes while NF is going out at night to look for some action.
Kill the DJ is a novelty tune performed in an indie- dance style not dissimilar to LCD Soundsystem, I guess it’s not the worst novelty tune this year ( The Offspring, ahem . . .).
Perhaps it’s Armstrong’s recent ‘‘ serious writing’’ styles influencing opinion here but it seems like there is more to this song’s layers than a simple dig at Skrillex or Tiesto.
GREEN DAY ! Uno!
While this vintage punk album was smartly written and performed, it is also missing a little something.
The magic of this band, of late, has been its ridiculous ambition. The excitement of not knowing what they’ll do next is absent on ! Uno! where it is plainly obvious what will happen on each and every verse, bridge and chorus.
Waiting for ! Dos! and ! Tre! may be the correct way to digest this package.