Green Day are another one of those bands that is suffering an identity crisis of sorts it seems, much like their contemporaries Blink 182 and The Offspring as the Big 3 of pop punk. They don’t seem to know who they are any more. Blink 182 are too busy thinking that they are now serious artists who only seem to get together when they aren’t doing something with their side projects, and The Offspring are becoming some kind of weird Foo Fighters aspiring, wannabe joke band, which leaves Green Day, who are now a de-fanged, indie-lite version of the band they used to be sounding somewhere between Arctic Monkeys and working man’s club house band.
When it was announced that Green Day would be releasing a trilogy of albums in short succession the world collectively groaned, to say that Green Day have been on a downward slope that started with the release of “Warning” would be an understatement, many will argue that “American Idiot” was a comeback of sorts, but even that album has some pretty glaring flaws, namely that it seems bloated and is very inconsistent, but I digress…
The band’s latest release “¡Uno!” is here and ready to be judged by the world. There has been a significant buzz around this release and the band themselves seems to have thrown down the gauntlet in terms of promoting it, which is admirable, even if they album itself isn’t that great.
“¡Uno!” is nowhere near as bad as I was expecting it to be, but it’s not that great either. Listening to Green Day in 2012 is like having an amazing memory from your childhood ruined so many years later but a sudden realisation, it’s pretty jarring, because you have a memory of how good something was, that to have that tarnished is just heartbreaking.
“¡Uno!” Starts of promisingly enough with ‘Nuclear Family’ which is a mid paced song that sets a pretty good standard for the rest of the album to follow, but it provides false hope somewhat, as the album quickly falls into a pattern of repetition, with the exceptions of ‘Carpe Diem’, ‘Loss of Control’ and ‘Let Yourself Go’ the rest of the songs sound like they were written by a lovesick teenager whose walls are covered in posters of bands that they think sound dangerous, which is ironic because this sounds anything but dangerous or edgy, it sounds limp and lifeless, you would never believe that this is a band that used to be snotty and aggressive, now they sound about as shocking as a celebrity meltdown is.
Maybe people expect too much from Green Day now, or perhaps the band just don’t expect anything from themselves any more, whichever way round it is, someone is definitely getting short changed here, whilst far from being an unlistenable mess like many predicted it could have been. “¡Uno!” Just creeps along like a middle aged man trying to seem cool to kids at a gig, and about as effective. The really disappointing thing isn’t that “¡Uno!” is so average, it’s the fact that there is still another two albums to go after this.