Green Day – ¡Uno!
After four long years of anticipation, Green Day fans the world over brace themselves as the Californian trio release the first instalment of their new album trilogy ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré! Avid fans know they’re in for a treat; after all, the band have been producing mega-hit albums since the late 80s so it’s pretty well established that Green Day know how to put an album together, but three albums in just under a year is quite an achievement by anyone’s standard. None (some would argue) has made a splash as big as American Idiot which earned them seven Grammy Awards in 2004 including Album of the Year, a sell-out world tour and a spin-off musical adaptation, which proved to be a smash hit on Broadway and will be making its way to London later in the year.
¡Uno! kicks off with a bang; the opening track Nuclear Family is enough to secure one’s faith in the noise to come. This toe-tapping prelude features a ten-second countdown to the opening of the three-part album. Mike Dirnt gives us some very nifty bass lines before Stay the Night starts up, which is a familiar song to anyone who has managed to catch the recent YouTube leaks. A potential single, as it has proved to be a crowd pleaser at Reading Festival earlier this year during the bands (not-so-secret) secret appearance.
Carpe Diem is the most anthem-sounding track on the album, with drummer Tre Cool pounding through the chorus. Carpe Diem shows us Green Day’s punk-inspired song structure in a simple yet powerful three-chord piece. For anyone picking up a guitar for the first time, this would be a good place to start! Let Yourself Go is a riot from the onset and Billie Joe Armstrong reminds us that he knows his way around a fret board. In the band’s early days, this song would have been well-received at 924 Gilman Street where it all began for them back in 1989. Typical of the East Bay sound, within Let Yourself Go there is a mosh-pit just waiting to happen.
Kill The DJ contributes another element to ¡Uno! The second single off the album so far, for which the band called on legendary music video director Samuel Bayer, who was responsible for Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit video, Green Day’s Bullet in a Bible and all the videos produced for the singles from American Idiot.
Fell For You is one of ¡Uno!’s more romantic compositions and gives listeners a break from moshing… but not for too long! Loss of Control riots through with an a capella chorus of “we’re all crazy, you’re all crazy now” and Sweet 16 goes into a more personal lyrical content as Armstrong gives us an opportunity to put our lighters in the air. One of the softer songs on the album, it’s easy on the ears and feels genuine and from the heart. In contrasting tempo, Rusty James has a classic rock sound. The familiar chord progressions and rhythms trigger memories of Green Day’s earlier hits and the passion remains consistent throughout.
Oh Love, if you haven’t heard already, was the first single off the album. The video, also directed by Samuel Bayer, is teasing and less clean-cut than we know Green Day to be. But the slow methodical beat of the song’s chorus encapsulates much of the album’s sound, meaning if you liked Oh Love, you won’t be let down when you’ve heard the rest of ¡Uno!
Standout Track: Let Yourself Go
Watch the video for opening track Nuclear Family here