Green Day deliver an album which takes them back to their Dookie days.
The album starts off with an explosive boom, as ‘Nuclear Family’ kicks in and starts off the 12-track record, straight away it is clear that the trio have attempted to go back to their roots with this album; as the song starts off with a three-fingered riff which is similar to the style of 1994 album, ‘Dookie’. This is a good thing, as with the release of 2004 album, ‘American Idiot’, a lot of Green Day fans did not like the new style of the band, who played giant rock operas, instead they wanted to see the old Green Day (before 1995). The band, made up of Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals/guitar), Mike Dirnt (vocals/bass) and Tre Cool (vocals/drums), have not just simply repeated what they created back in 1994 though, they have added different aspects, such as powerful solos, to make songs which old through to new Green Day fans will appreciate.
The album is off to a smashing start, and makes me want to listen on in the hope that the rest of the record is like this. The song also opens up to the next part of the album by counting down from 10 at the end.
The record continues on its path to launching the band in to super-stardom once again, as second track ‘Stay The Night’ kicks in, it is another amazing song which gives of the ‘Dookie’ feeling with an extended breakdown and a chorus which you wont be able to help but sing to and will be running around your head for weeks to come.
As soon as ‘Let Yourself Go’ starts, it jumps into the song like ‘St. Jimmy’ did on their ‘American Idiot’ album, and although it is a completely different song, it still portrays the anger and non-compliance that ‘St. Jimmy’ (and most of ‘American Idiot’) gave out. However this time it is about being absolutely pissed off with someone, rather than the whole government, and wanting to beat the s**t out of them, with lyrics like “shut your mouth because you’re talking too much, and I don’t give a f**k anyway”. With Tre Cool screaming “shut the f**k up” in the background and the gritty sound of Armstrong’s voice, you can really feel the aggression coming from song.
‘Kill The DJ’, the second single released from ‘¡Uno!’, shows the band trying something new, a sort of disco theme which really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album; as it doesn’t show who the band are and what they can do. Green Day can wander out of their comfort zone to create something different, but not go so far as to play a song better suited for a different genre. The string wobbling solo during in the breakdown is a nice touch though.
The sixth track ‘Fell For You’ shows that the band, amongst writing rock operas, can still write songs about love and having a crush on someone, it is not a mushy-gooey song about falling head over heels for someone though; as the trio do the song in their own punk themed way By having lyrics such as “I crash into you, ’cause you crashed in my imagination too. Break a leg and you crush my heart, I’m a mess and you’re a work of art” are not your usual love song lyrics.
As ‘Loss Of Control’ starts, the song shows off what the band have to offer, on every album the band have brought out through the years they have shown off each instrument to its full potential. Green Day are not just about the guitar and drums, they show off the bass guitar for the instrument which it is, whether it is throughout the classic ‘Longview’ track from ‘Dookie’ or the opening to ‘Loss Of Control’, Mike Dirnt shows off his skills on an instrument which is too underrated these days.
The band formed in Oakland, California in 1987, and have been creating punk/rock music ever since. Their first album being ’39/Smooth’ in 1990, which was released through (now deceased) Lookout! Records, along with their 1992 album ‘Kerplunk’. However it wasn’t until 1994 when Green Day released ‘Dookie’ that they were put onto the musical map, and signed to a much bigger label, Reprise Records. Once the band made the decision to sign to Reprise Records some fans thought they had sold out because they weren’t trying to support independent labels anymore. The band still held a wide fan base though, through their later albums ‘Insomniac’ (1995) and ‘Nimrod’ (1997). However when they released ‘Warning’ in 2000, it seemed that the punk aggression of the trio had fizzled out, with them playing a whole acoustic style album. It wasn’t over though as the world watched, when the band created the rock opera ‘American Idiot’ in 2004, which centred around a boy named Jimmy. They were put back on to the map and had created another album which would go down in punk history. 2009 saw Green Day release their second rock opera ’21st Century Breakdown’, this time focusing on a boy and girl named Christian and Gloria. Although the record was not as hard-hitting as ‘American Idiot’ it was still an all round success. This album, ‘¡Uno!’, is the first in a trilogy of albums which the band are releasing, the second being ‘¡Dos!’, November 13th, and the third being ‘¡Tre!’, January 15th.
‘Sweet 16’ is another example of the band’s, or perhaps just Armstrong’s, softer side, which could possibly be written about his wife, Adrienne Nesser, who was also his high school sweetheart.
‘Rusty James’ has a deep meaning to the lyrics, the song is written about some of the old bands which Green Day used to play with when they were on the Californian punk scene, and the song asks where are they now, Green Day are still fighting for their cause rather than changing themselves for the mainstream.
It was odd when I discovered that the final track on the album, ‘Oh Love’, was the first single which had been released, however it is typical of Green Day to not follow the conventional rules. The song shows elements of classic Green Day and also a new style of palm-muted-string playing, which we first saw on the track ‘East Jesus Nowhere’ from ’21st Century Breakdown’. The song finishes off ‘¡Uno!’ just as powerfully as it began, and gets us ready for ‘¡Dos!’, the second in the trilogy.
This album has shown the whimsical riffs of the early albums and put them together with the talented writing and power of the more recent albums mixed in with a surge of rock and roll…a great album all round.
Green Day are back!!!
Listen to: Nuclear Family, Carpe Diem and Rusty James.
The Full Track-Listing is as Follows:
Stay The Night
Let Yourself Go
Kill The DJ
Fell For You
Loss Of Control