Editor’s note: This article contains explicit language and profanity. The writer reviewed Green Day’s new album, whose title contains expletives.
The alternative, pop-punk rock band Green Day released their thirteenth studio album “Father of All Motherfuckers” on Feb. 7, nearly four years after their last album, “Revolution Radio.” The album itself is brief, with only ten tracks amounting to twenty-six minutes worth of music, making this the shortest album Green Day has released since “39/Smooth” in 1990. After being in the music industry for over thirty-four years, twenty-six minutes is all Green Day needed to deliver a quick-paced, energetic album that reminds their listeners they still maintain the same bratty teenager-attitude of their “Kerplunk” days in the 1990s. Often times, bands fail to remain relevant over the course of time, but Green Day has at least been able to stay consistent at yelling at listeners about how they will “Knock your teeth out to the ground” as stated in the song “Fire, Ready, Aim.”
It seems that the purpose of the album is to encourage the youth to hold onto their fun and reckless personas, a theme not new to Green Day’s music. This sound is also an unsatisfying contrast to the political commentary they became famous for in their album “American Idiot.” In “American Idiot,” Green Day tackles the paranoia and anger instilled in U.S citizens following a faltered economy and an Iraqi War, attributed to poor foreign policy in part of the U.S leadership in 2004. Considering the U.S continues to struggle with incompetent leaders, more failed foreign policies, and immigration issues in light of the new Trump administration, Green Day turns a blind eye to these issues that could have made wonderful content for their music. Their decision to abstain from discussing such issues could come from the band wanting to remain within their comfort zone and take the easy route instead of challenging modern ideals and values. Even though their decision comes to no surprise, as they are an established group with nothing to prove, social and political commentary is always welcome and only adds value to a work of art. It could have reminded the public why Green Day became inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, especially in the face of newer generations that may not have heard of Green Day’s music before.
Production has always been a distinguishing facet for Green Day, and in the album “Father of All Motherfuckers” the production is still as spirited and racy as ever. The track “Sugar Youth” blends speeding electric guitar riffs with booming drums that only a mosh pit could handle. Other tracks, such as “Fire, Ready, Aim,” and “Father of All,” bring the same chaotic energy thanks to the edgy guitar strides and robust bass playing of Mike Dirnt. The two tracks transition easily into one another, making it hard to identify what exactly makes each individual track unique.
The song “I Was a Teenage Teenager” is arguably the most enjoyable and nostalgic track on the album, with its relaxed bass stealing the spotlight instead of the usual electric guitar. “I was a teenage teenager, I am an alien visitor / My life’s a mess and school is just for suckers,” sings Billie Joe Armstrong, embracing the shared feelings of estrangement and disorder one often feels during their youth.
“Junkies on a High” can give “I Was a Teenage Teenager” a run for its money with its equally melodic rhythm and use of a vocoder that transformed Armstrong’s voice into one resembling Arctic Monkeys’ singer Alex Turner, adding to the cool flame the album much needed.
Since the album was a modest twenty-six minutes and its effects were fast, painless and amusing, “Father of All Motherfuckers” barely passes to not become their most intolerable project, although a reinventing of their sound would be interesting to hear. Green Day knows their days of relevancy are counting down, and if they wish to keep the legendary status they earned, it is time for them to direct their music into uncharted territories in hopes of creating fresh rock-n-roll appropriate for newer generations.
Angela Silva is an Entertainment Intern for the 2020 winter quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.