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Marching into their fourth decade with a change of pace, favouring spirited pop-punk earworms over politics, Green Day return with a 10-track haven of genre-spanning influences.
Sure, there’s still plenty of gnarly bass from Mike Dirnt, furious distorted guitars courtesy of frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and thundering drumbeats ala Tré Cool, but there’s also handclaps, Motown influences, and inspiration from hip-hop’s Kendrick Lamar.
Production duties for the band’s 26-minute full-length fell to Green Day newcomer Butch Walker, known for his prior work with P!NK, Panic at the Disco and more. His influence is immediately obvious, as Father of All… presents a refreshing raw approach to storytelling. The chaos and unpredictability of their new sound gels with their radio-friendly punk rock, the end result proving eclectic, yet retaining the classic Green Day sound.
Formed in East Bay, California in 1986, the band have reinvented themselves on numerous occasions, not least when they released 2004 smash-hit political rock opera American Idiot, a record which not only elevated them into festival headliners and stadium fillers but changed the course of their career.
With the exception of 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown, everything Green Day has recorded since has struggled to draw the same success as in their ’90s heyday. However, their more recent efforts, 2012’s trilogy ¡UNO! , ¡DOS! , and ¡TRÉ! and the follow-up, 2016’s Revolution Radio clearly made way for a return to form.
Title track and album opener Father of All… – a tone-setting catchy number full of artful clapping and autotune – was released in September alongside the announcement of the Hella Mega Tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer.
Second single Fire, Ready, Aim, a fast-paced, snappy number that encapsulates the overall feeling of the new album, arrived a month later and saw the band enter into a two-year partnership with the NHL.
2020 welcomed third single Oh Yeah! – originally titled Bulletproof Backpack – a song with a sultry modern verse, not unlike a Raconteurs effort, that shifts into its own as an anthemic future stadium pleaser thanks to its sing-a-long chorus.
Sugar Youth nods back to classic Green Day while latest single Meet Me On The Roof is ultra-poppy, featuring an endearing music video starring Stranger Things actor Gaten Matarazzo, who attempts to win over his high school crush with motorbike stunts.
Much like a brooding Veronica Mars-style title theme, Junkies On A High is a gritty pop-rock anthem with piano chords in all the right places.
Stab You In The Heart is doo-wop pop with a sample of The Swinging Blue Jeans classic The Hippy Hippy Shake.
Graffitia follows a classic formula of stadium foot-stomper. Billie Joe singing the lyrics: “Are we the last forgotten, are we the long-lost love”, but there’s nothing forgettable about this release.
Father Of All… is hard to resist. It is innovative and exciting while still nodding back to the early years – their plethora of new sounds and ideas fuse seamlessly with their classic punk melodies and Billie Joe’s iconic falsettos. 13 might be unlucky for some, but not Green Day.
Final tickets for The Hella Mega UK Tour with special guests Fall Out Boy and Weezer this summer are on sale now. [Find tickets]
1. Father Of All…
2. Fire, Ready, Aim
3. Oh Yeah!
4. Meet Me on the Roof
5. I Was a Teenage Teenager
6. Stab You in the Heart
7. Sugar Youth
8. Junkies on a High
9. Take the Money and Crawl
Listen to Father Of All… on Spotify: