Green Day, Father Of All Motherfuckers Review— Craig Lowe -
More like the Mother Of All Fuckups. I don’t know why I had such high hopes going into Green Day’s new album - their first since 2016’s passable ‘Revolution Radio’ but the warning signs were there for all to see. Firstly, Billie Joe has now fully committed to his sobriety which, if history has taught us anything, is good for the artist but bad for the art. Secondly, they have just announced a joint tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer - two acts that, over the past 10 years, have pissed all over their heritage and fanbases by constantly trying to appeal to the quote unquote kids. But the biggest warning sign should have been that title and that cover. I’m sure they all sat there high fiving in the studio, complimenting themselves on such an edgy title. It’s got a swear in it and everything! Nothing is more punk than naughty words right? How about slapping a unicorn being sick all over the artwork of American Idiot, arguably their most mainstream album. it all reeks of a band trying waaaaay too hard.
But what about the music? I can forgive bad packaging if the contents are good. Sigh…… OK let’s do this. It’s not just that this is the worst Green Day album, it’s that on the same day this was released, Bowling For Soup released a new single and it has more edge to it than anything on this record. I’ve seen Green Day’s career compared to that of The Clash, with Dookie being the self titled debut, American Idiot being London Calling, and even Uno, Dos, Tre being Sandanista. Well if those comparisons hold true then this new album is most definitely their Cut The Crap.
“What’s Billie Joe’s falsetto sound like?” asked no one ever, but within 10 seconds of track 1 we have our answer and it’s not good. ‘Father Of All….’ (because of course they don’t want the swear on the actual track name, because radio won’t play it otherwise) sounds like a sub-par Muse track. ‘Fire, Ready, Aim’ sounds like Hate to Say I Told You So by The Hives, but with a Hammond Organ thrown in for no other reason than to say “look! A Hammond organ!” It comes off less Elvis Costello and more Smash Mouth.
‘Oh Yeah’ is probably one of the better examples of how lazy the writing is on this album. Who would have thought that the the person who wrote Basket Case, Good Riddance and Holiday would have a song with the words ‘Oh’ and ‘Yeah’ repeat and call it a chorus.
I’ll give ‘Meet Me On The Roof’ credit, it is the best song McFly never recorded and is exactly the type of throwaway pop rock that littered the charts 20 years ago, but that was 20 years ago! The worst of the album is up next, with the terribly titled ‘I Was A Teenage Teenager’ because I want hear a nearly 50 year old man tell me school is just for suckers, because that’s relatable right? It sound like modern day Weezer, clichéd lyrics and all.
We follow that with the 50s inspired rock n’ roll number ‘Stab You In The Heart’ that just completely rips off Hippy Hippy Shake and leaves me thinking that this may be a collection of songs intended for different side projects, to which they thought ‘fuck it’ and just slapped the Green Day name on it. It’s this track that makes you realise how all over the place this album is.
Finally we hit a track with a little urgency to it. ‘Sugar Youth’ that ticks along at a nice pace and doesn’t outstay its welcome, clocking in at under 2 minutes, but this is the sort of thing Green Day used to knock out in their sleep, and it could have been a b side off any single from Warning. THAT’S WHAT THIS REMINDS ME OF! IT’S A FUCKING B SIDES ALBUM! Slam the breaks on again for the next track. ‘Junkies On A High’ creeps along with the production and instrumentation of a 3rd rate mumblecore backing track. ‘Take The Money and Crawl’ is so average and forgettable that half way through listening I’d forgotten it, and was thinking about what to have for lunch. Burgers I think.
To cap off this masterpiece we end with ‘Graffitia’ which again screams outtake from another album and might have sat comfortably in the middle of a better album, but leaves me thinking ‘thank fuck that’s over!’ This album commits the worst crime any album can really, it’s just boring. It sounds like the last gasps of a band clinging to fame before they retire from the best of touring circuit forever, and the shame is, after this album it’s about time they did. But my mother always told me to find the positives in everything so at a total running time of just over 26 mins at least it’s short.