John Lydon once said of Green Day: "So there we are fending off all that and it pisses me off that years later a wank outfit like Green Day hop in and nick all that and attach it to themselves. They didn't earn their wings to do that and if they were true punk they wouldn't look anything like they do." It's comforting to read such strong words from an important figure in punk rock, even if he's the biggest hypocrite. We like to mention Dookie don't we? Green Day's first major record release which officially branded Green Day 'sell-outs' from their Berkley comrades. So that's the Dookie mention out of the way, and that's before mentioning their commercially successful 2004 album American Idiot, released exactly eight years prior to the album we're looking at today. Oh look, I mentioned it. Now I can move on to what this is all about, Green Day's ninth studio album Uno!
Well what am I supposed to say about this album? It's been described as 'power-pop' by several of my close sources of Green Day information, a.k.a the emo kids that thrive on A Day To Remember, Alexisonfire and Panic! At The Disco, who they say are the alternative to mainstream music... When in fact they are the alternative to punk. I'm not calling Green Day punk, not at all... I'm just trying to picture the typical Green Day fan. It's not that hard really, because they have fans everywhere - Green Day are still one of the biggest punk related bands out there. And how this has happened is beyond me.
Straight off the bat, Uno! fails to capture my attention. I'm finding it incredibly hard to decipher the music because the production is straight-up poor. Billie Joel Armstrong co-produced this album with long-time producer Rob Cavallo. Cavallo's previous production credits include Paris by Paris Hilton, Trouble by Bonnie McKee and Anthem by Less Than Jake. I'll let you work out what I think about that. So yeah, Uno! fails incredibly hard from start to finish. The first track Nuclear Family has some nice moments with the odd few riffs, but the rest is just typical Green Day, and that's what Uno! is really, just typical same old Green Day. It's not bad, but it's not any good either. Stay The Night opens brightly, but happens to go down this romance path with Armstrong singing: "I got to know if you're the one that got away. Even though it was never meant to be," literary genius right? Please...
Green Day has always appealed to adolescents, and I'd like to think they would grow out of this one day - Green Day, not the adolescents. You always see those kooky 40 year old punks that actually like Green Day, and you laugh at them don't you? You don't expect Green Day to be such an influence on a post-20 year olds life. Lest we forget that Green Day are themselves over the age of 40, appealing to 14 year olds. Tracks like Carpe Diem, Kill The DJ, Troublemaker and Sweet 16 appeal to the youth, and for that, congratulations Green Day. They've certainly spotted their target audience and are trying to milk it as much as possible, but in terms of quality, it's far off those 'glorious' early days. Green Day was never part of the punk rock scene. They went part of any scene really, they were the scene. Scenesters that use the same chords, same effects, same melodies over and over again. And I can't fucking stand it anymore... This needs to stop, and we're only at album one out of the trilogy, Jesus Christ.
I have to be honest, there’s not one track on this album that I enjoyed. There are aspects of each track that I like, such as the opening riff on Oh Love and the opening drumming on Loss of Control. I notice a pattern on Uno!, the opening six/seven seconds are actually nice, they seem to be going places, but then the full trio kicks in and the bland repetition of Green Day hits you in the face like a flash mob. Armstrong sings: "I'd rather go to a funeral than to this high school reunion," on Loss of Control. He acts as if he's still in high school; I know his music is... So why shouldn’t he. Armstrong sounds like the real life version of Dewey Finn on Loss of Control.
Uno! is instantly forgettable, it's almost laughable at times. I can't help but come across like an asshole when reviewing, well when reviewing shit really... But I try my best to appreciate everything, and I can appreciate Green Day. They've been decent in the past; I just don't think they can be decent in the future.