GREEN DAY will release ¡Uno! in the UK today, just after Billie Joe Armstrong checked into rehab. Check out my thoughts on the first of their new album trilogy.
A lot has been said about Green Day as they’ve evolved over their career from gritty teen punk-rockers into polished stadium rock icons.
American Idiot saw the band lose some of their core fan-base as they moved away from the three chord punk that typified the trio’s early records, a trend that seemed to continue with 2010’s 21st Century Breakdown.
It was probably expected, then, that there’d be many sceptics when Green Day announced their next release – a trilogy of albums across six months, entitled ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!.
The first of these has been released and should more than satisfy fans of their power-pop/punk sound as the trio seem to embrace their influences and roots in a way they haven’t really done since a handful of songs on the grossly-underrated Warning!
There’s a fantastic energy on opener ‘Nuclear Family’ that barely lets up over the next 41-minutes and 12 tracks, which makes for an exciting and coherent record that feels much more like a consistent collection of songs rather than a contrived “rock opera”.
Stylistically, the likes of ‘Stay The Night’ and ‘Fall For You’ find a balance between the melodic punk and infectious pop-influenced sounds of Dookie and Warning respectively.
Whilst the only real surprises are the funky ‘Kill The DJ’ and ‘Troublemaker’, the latter won’t shock anyone who heard the band’s Foxboro Hot Tubs side-project.
The record feels like a combination of Green Day’s pre-American Idiot influence and sounds, nostalgia without ever feeling like a backwards step – by contrast, it’s the evolution fans would’ve expected after Warning, had the band’s rock-opera days never happened.
It makes for a thrilling, at times visceral, record that should make fans excited for the rest of the trilogy.