Green Day: Father of All... review – Is this some sort of in-joke?

Fri, Feb 7, 2020, 06:00

   
  

Album:
Father of All...

Artist:
Green Day

Label:
Reprise

Genre:
Rock

Billie Joe Armstrong claimed that his band’s 13th album would feature lyrics regarding “the lifestyle of not giving a f**k”, but it sounds like that theme is all-encompassing.

Fans will find songs like Oh Yeah! and Fire, Ready, Aim almost unrecognisable, their 1960s garage/glam-rock riffs softer than the punky, punchy anthems the trio made their name with. Classic rock’n’roll looms large on Meet Me on the Roof, while Stab You in the Heart bears a head-scratchingly brazen resemblance to Chan Romero’s Hippy Hippy Shake. I Was a Teenage Teenager is one of few tracks with any sense of vim or vigour.

As for the lyric sheet? There are tokenistic references to civil war, the New World Order and “watching the world burn”, but it all sounds trite and lazy. It’s not just the fuzzy distortion filter on Armstrong’s voice on several songs that casts a pall over this album, which despite its short running time of 26 minutes, is a trudge.

Is it some sort of in-joke? A contractual kiss-off to their label amid rumours of an impending split? Perhaps a misguided attempt at a change in style?

Either way, this is one chapter of Green Day’s illustrious career that’s best consigned to the “should never have happened” pile.