Review: Green Day - ¡Uno!
As Nuclear Family opens the album with Armstrong slamming out some massive pop punk riffs, you can identify the size, the style and desire to rock out with some cool pop punk tunes, for the sake of rocking out to cool pop punk tune but you can't identify any real sense of ambition, any sense of passion or any real reason for you to stick on to the album. And that's the first song in kids!
The basic nature of ¡Uno! really doesn't leave you with any sort of enlightenment of what Green Day are capable of and across the likes of Stay the Night, Carpe Diem and Sweet 16 and there's nothing at all to pick up upon, just some breezy melodies, some breezy melodies that are nothing but pleasant. Pleasant rock songs from a band that are supposed to be the voice of a generation. I'm really left questioning why people put them on par with the Foo Fighters as the best rock band of our generation.
Obviously, it wouldn't be in Green Day's nature to stick to one basic style and the big talking point comes in the form of single Kill the DJ, that sees the band attempt to recreate the rock and roll swagger one may have heard in something like The Rolling Stones' Miss You. But the overall result is a total disgrace to the concept of making a song that swaggers, that feels like a drill being grinded through your ears with every conceited call of "Someone kill the DJ/ Kill the fucking DJ" that sounds as immature, annoying and backwards as the extent to which the band's attempts to do something different comes of as tiresome and painful.
Now, it must be said that amongst this landfill of pop punk there are some gems to be found. When the band do actually attempt to be bold in their performance, they result with songs like Let Yourself Go's adrenaline packed riffs with fiery melodies and the bold closing of Oh Love which carries a sense of the ambition which is what made their recent concept albums so enjoyable, which as we know is what they're desperately stating they want to back away from for these three albums.
In recent times, Green Day actually prove themselves to be a great band due to ditching basic pop punk and building up a greater intelligence, spreading cool ideas and using their three cord riffs in a context that no other band could rip off and sounding wholly original. Now that they want to step down from such a reputable position, ¡Uno! really does sound like a band in regression, doing their best to wean away any respect they gained for their more mature material and going back unable to match the standards of Dookie and Nimrod. So, with all the hope that Billie Joe Armstrong can make it successfully through rehab and can try and pass the criticism that has come with recent events, there's no denying that him and Green Day are not at their biggest strength musically. And with that, one album down, two to go!
Green Day's ¡Uno! is out now via Reprise.