Punk Rock | Pop Punk
It has been a long while since I have listened to the stars of modern punk known as Green Day. As somebody who practically grew up with the likes of Dookie and American Idiot, the punk rock trio have always had a place in my heart (even if it feels a little overstayed at this point).
Despite the band really not having the best musical reputation of late, with the previous decade containing duds such as their previous effort, 2016’s Revolution Radio, and how can we forget the terrible triplets that were 2012’s UNO, DOS, and TRE, I still had a glimmer of hope that this band could somehow reawaken their classic self with the new decade finally in play.
Unfortunately, I instantly felt perplexed going into this thing. Grant it, I hadn’t properly listened to any new Green Day material in years. This included any of the teaser tracks for this new album, so I went into this completely afresh. But even with that said, I still wasn’t expecting the band to sound absolutely nothing like they used to.
I would compare this new style to the likes of Weezer more so than Green Day, as their brand of punk on this project has far less authenticity than their classics, and instead feels a lot more pop-punk inspired. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like the good kind of pop-punk either.
It is kind of ironic for the editor’s notes on Apple Music to state what Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong about “Rock ’n’ Roll becoming so tame”, as I would argue that this band have fallen into that very trap of taming themselves. I’ve noticed bands like Fall Out Boy slip down the same kind of rabbit hole, and we know how badly they had been affected by it.
And speaking of Billie Joe Armstrong, what on earth has happened to his vocal style?! His signature bellowing grittiness is completely gone, and his vocal pitch is unnervingly higher than it was twenty years ago.
A selection of the instrumentals, I would say, is the most redeemable quality of this album. However, even this only comes in rare cases; there are still a few tracks with either very generic, or very unenjoyable instrumentals.
It also seems like the band struggles to grasp a solid aesthetic either. Instead, the album stylistically is a hodgepodge mixture of punk rock, pop-punk, and even classic rock styles. And as for the more punk rock tracks on this thing, so many of them feel so uninspired. It would be sinful to compare such tracks to their classics.
I went into this album with a very open mind. However, there are few positive things to say about it. And after so many duds prior, I felt that it was crucial that this album appealed to me. Unfortunately, it didn’t.
I regret to believe that this album could spell the beginning of the end for the band, as they seem to have been affected with what I like to call “Fall Out Boy syndrome”, and what I can only see as a taming in their style has really come back to bite them on all three behinds.
Please bare in mind, however, that this is only my opinion. And I would still recommend you listen to this (but mostly so that you cant come back to me and claim that I control what you like). I would still even say that there are a couple of tracks on this thing that were pretty decent.
This album is far from offensive to the ears, but every semblance of the Green Day that was, has become a rotten carcass at this point.
Favourite Tracks: Father of All… | Fire, Ready, Aim
Least Favourite Tracks: Meet Me on The Roof | I Was a Teenage Teenager | Stab You in the Heart