Review: Green Day – ¡Uno!
Published on October 3rd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Oh, Green Day. Oh, oh, oh, Green Day. How ‘young and dumb’ suited you; how ‘middle-aged, dumb and unaware of it’ does not.
Let’s start with the positives:
1) There’s nothing quite as bad as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” here.
2) The embarrassing ‘6th form poetry’ lyricism of 21st Century Breakdown appears to have been toned down a tad.
3) It’s fairly listenable for the most part, as long as you’re not really concentrating, in which case you may be tearing your hair out after the seventeenth deployment of basically the same, rigidly tonal punk-pop chord progression (yes, like the one they used in “American Idiot”).
Each of those positives may have been tempered with negatives, but that’s probably about right for an LP – the first of a three part series – that manages to come as something of a relief without ever really coming close to excelling or being in any way necessary. Opener “Nuclear Family” is solid enough power-pop, don’t get us wrong, but it provides the blueprint for the majority of the tracks here, many of which are noteworthy only for the faintly desperate-sounding swearing.
“Carpe Diem” has decent rumbling drums in its verse and a vaguely thoughtful chorus melody, but the compliments end there. “Shoot that fucker down!” commands “Kill the DJ”, as if its own basic premise wasn’t hackneyed to the point of farce, while the “Won’t you be my bloody valentine?” of “Angel Blue” is just plain offensive to anyone who’s a fan of Kevin Shields and co. Exhibit an influence by all means, but don’t just name-check a band and go completely the other way.
“I wanna be a troublemaker” sings Billie Joe Armstrong on “Troublemaker” – compare and contrast with loosely thematic predecessor “Don’t wanna be an American idiot” – while we are even treated to a song entitled “Sweet 16”. Yes, “Sweet 16”. A song, by Green Day, in this day and age, called “Sweet 16”. That’s the level of originality and lateral thinking at play here.
Bet that sounded dead snobby, didn’t it? Sorry: roll on ¡Dos! and ¡Tre!!
Rocksucker says: ¡Uno! y Medio Quails out of Five!
¡Uno! is out now on Reprise Records. For more information, please visit unodostre.co.uk