Pop- punk trio wind back the clock

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MUSIC - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

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.


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.

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