Album Reviews

Green Day – Uno! (REVIEW) 2012

As a 17 year old kid living in the San Francisco Bay Area I was spoiled. I lived in an area that would spawn some of the bands that were bringing punk rock back to the masses in a big way. Bands like Social Distortion, Agent Orange, Lagwagon, Face To Face, Swingin Utters, Rancid,  and Pennywise were changing the way people thought about punk music. I was fortunate to see this first hand in venues like the Gilman, Berkeley Square, Warm Water Cove, and various house parties.

Green Day were also one of those bands that helped shape the sound that would later become pop punk and pave the way for bands like Blink 182, The Offspring, and others to create a sound that would connect the masses.

I am one of those fortunate few who got to see Green Day grow from a small time punk band to what they are today. So when they release a new album I look at it from a perspective of what they have done in that time.

It has been difficult to see a band that spent the better part of the 90’s selling us on the idea that punk music was about the social discourse. That punk music was about the angst we feel inside and how to connect each other through music. I think that message has been skewed ever since Green Day demanded their masters back from the label that helped launch their career, Lookout Records, which sent the label into bankruptcy and ultimately forced the label to shutdown.

Since then we have seen a steady rise in the merchandise and mainstream appeal to Green Day through things like the Green Day Rock Band video game, countless trinkets, and t-shirts with the band in every conceivable bright color that inevitably leads to an epileptic seizure.  If you’re going to label yourself as a punk band that speaks to the disenfranchised it’s a tough sell when you’re on everything from a button to the opening of a Simpsons movie.

That being said I guess I should talk a little about the album that has spawned this review, “Uno!” This is the first of three albums Green Day will be releasing in the coming months.

As I popped on my headphones and pressed play I was struck by the guitar that hits you right away in “Nuclear Family.” You can almost envision Billy Joe Armstrong strumming his guitar in his infamous headbob as the 4 chord riff rips through like a good pop punk song should. It’s easy, it’s simple, and it’s what Green Day has built an entire career around. Ok, nothing new. Next!

The next track, “Stay the Night” is also a very classic Green Day track. Good hooks, chorus, and lyrics make this an easy song to get addicted to. Not a prolific track but something that’s well structured and even paced.

I don’t know that you want to read me go through the entire playlist so maybe I’ll just layout a more summarized review of the rest of the tracks as I’ve already exhausted a lot of white space talking about how disappointed I am with the sellout of the band. I would hate to keep boring you with twelve paragraphs dedicated to the overly wordy autopsy of each track.

Most of the tracks on the album are what Green Day has always been good at. It’s their sound. Nowhere is this more apparent than “Let Yourself Go” which is pop punk at its best. I can easily see a mosh pit spawned as a result of this track and lots of fist pumping. It’s an adrenaline fueled ride with lots of yelling and fast paced guitar riffs that will leave your ears ringing. In a good way of course.

“Kill the DJ” is one track I just couldn’t understand. It doesn’t make much sense. It’s like Billy Joe walked through a park one day, heard some horrible music, and decided to write a shit song about it. The song is poorly constructed and just doesn’t fit the rest of the album.

Bottom line: Overall the rest of the album is a good mix of songs that fit Green Day’s style and some that are just on the cusp of what they do well. It’s an album that will have mass appeal, which is good for a band that has spent the better part of two decades trying to find new and inventive ways to sell out.

Rating: 7/10



7 replies »

  1. You decided to attack the band and create a negative atmosphere before you even reviewed the album deuche. This review sucks ass

    • Why not lay off on the review? It’s obvious you’re a Green Day fanboy who would love the album even if it was pure crap. Why don’t you go find a site giving it a 10/10 and praise how well thought out the review was to an album you haven’t heard yet.

      As far as the actual review, I appreciate where the author is coming from. I have a strong feeling I’ll end up agreeing with the review pretty closely. Green Day isn’t what it used to be and from what I can tell never will be. Doesn’t mean they won’t put out some good material, but never AS good.

  2. I honestly thought you were too lenient… The fact that every song has a similar Drum Emphasis on chord changes backed by the overuse of Tre just hitting the snare during verses. It was good in Maria… It was good in Maria pt 2 (Or ‘Let Yourself Go’ I believe it’s called) but it’s like they wrote one good song… then based everything they were going to do from that. I honestly feel this triple album business is stemming from them having three albums left on their contract and are quick releasing this trilogy so they can retire. ‘Rust James’ is just ‘Scattered’ … Even the guitar solo borrows heavily from the scattered melody. There are many more songs that sound really close to other songs. And I mean too close for comfort. This entire album strikes me as Green Day just going through the motions. There’s no life, no passion, no conviction in any of these songs. The lyrics are shocking in comparison to even what was on 21CB. Any one who thinks this album is proving Green Day still ‘have it’ is incorrect… Unless the ‘it’ that they have is access to a recording studio and fans so stupid they won’t stop for a second and realise they’re just being force fed shit. I’m a Green Day fan for over 15 years at this stage, and I will gladly put my hand up and say that this is just shocking nonsense, and if you’re meant to put your best foot forward, it doesn’t give me any hope for the next two installments. If you like this album, then Hey! Good For You! I’m glad that this band are still bringin’ out something catering to your tastes… but for me this is a 2/10 at best.

  3. I definitely agree with your review, well written and interesting! I think that, like me, you also though that the first couple of tunes were the best and felt more honest and spontaneous. I personally though the rest of the album was better than “21CB”, but I can’t help breathe this sellout air all around, almost as the songs were a little de-personalized and the lyrics deliberately written with the intention to provide slogans to write on the school books of their teenage fanbase. Too bad. I hope this band brings back honesty in what they do. I dont want another dookie, or insomniac or american idiot, but I m sure that if they wanted, they could do amazing, creative stuff (see the network, foxboro hot tubs)