Father of All M...

Green Day

Reprise, 2020

http://www.greenday.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/15/2020

Where the hell do Green Day stand in the alternative landscape as it is littered in 2020? When bands like Imagine Dragons, AJR, The Lumineers and Twenty One Pilots dominate the airwaves, where does a band that’s been around for thirty years do? Well they make a twenty-six-minute EP and dub it an album!

Produced by Butch Walker of all people, best known for his work with Fall Out Boy, FOAM shows the band still writing their own songs without help from others and deciding to branch out and try different things musically. It’s rumored this is the album that ends their 25-year association with Reprise, so maybe they figured what the hell, let’s just do what we want on this disc. Last time they said that, we got three different albums, Uno, Dos and Tre! that ended up being their worst sellers.

The opening title track gives off a falsetto, surf type vibe that I just couldn’t get behind. The song goes by in such a flash that you have to hear it multiple times to see if it’s worth a damn. The vocals aren’t bad by any stretch, but the song just feels a bit rushed and lacking a certain spark. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There seems to be a theme of teenage rebellion running through the record. This coming from guys in their late forties at best is a bit laughable. Tracks like “Oh Yeah!” and “Fire, Ready, Aim” really push this to the forefront. But it’s the former that’s the better song—“Oh Yeah!” doesn’t feel like a b-side that was rushed to completion; it feels like a complete thought and it still sounds like great Green Day.

You get the feeling that this record was done to finish out a contract—that these songs were ideas that Billie Joe wanted to try for years but never was able to. So this was his chance and what we get is a half-baked EP of sixties AM pop/Motown wannabe songs that don’t work for a Green Day-type band. I wanted to like this record. The vocals are great throughout, but the music just doesn’t sync up with the delivery. Just when you’re about ready to like a song, it ends. What’s the point of that?

“Stab You in the Heart” feels like a Foxboro Hot Tubs song, and not a good one. There’s not much meat there and you can feel that in the two-minute running time. On the contrary, “I Am A Teenage Teenager,” despite the title, is one of the better songs here. It feels like a continuation of 21st Century Breakdown, a really good track.

Ultimately, these songs go by in such a rush that it’s impossible to really fall in love with them like one would have done with earlier records. The album’s closing track “Graffitia” feels like they actually put some thought and effort into the songwriting and production, but it still falls short. “Junkies On A High” is decent enough, but could it have been longer? Yes, and with that it could have been a more memorable track. The effects-laden “Take The Money And Crawl” doesn’t work; it sounds like they want to keep up with latest trends. The disc feels like contract filler and nothing else.

Will people go rushing back to this record to rediscover some lost great song, like on Warning? Doubtful, but it’s still better to have this mediocre Green Day than none at all.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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