Green Day – Father of all Motherfuckers (2020)

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This is very hard to believe, but Green Day are now 33 years in to their career, and the release of Father of All Motherfuckers gives them a total of 13 studio albums.  That actually blows my mind, but more than anything, it makes me feel old.

The music on offer here has the opposite effect though.  It makes me feel young.  This is fun and vibrant music, full of catchy hooks, infectious lyrics, and quite frankly, it’s the best the band has sounded in years.

Opening track, Father of All Motherfuckers, really sets the tone for what is to follow.  It’s very rhythmic, the guitar riffs are nice and chunky, and Billie Joe Armstrong sings in a high pitched vocal that is out of the ordinary for him.  The choruses are huge and catchy and hard to ignore.

Fire, Ready, Aim continues the infectious nature of the album opener, and the introduction of some very bombastic piano makes this track stand aside from most others on offer.  Clocking in at under two minutes, the track keeps it short and sweet, but it works.

Oh Yeah! Borrows from disgraced 80’s glam icon Gary Glitters “Do You Wanna Touch Me?”, as it looks at social media addiction and internet “fame”.  Another catchy and well crafted gem.

Meet Me on the Roof is a bit of a love song, modern sounding, but owing a debt to the music of the 50’s, while I Was A Teenage Teenager is an admission of misspent youth, by way of a very simple set of lyrics.  Green Day have really gone for a less is more approach on this record, and it works perfectly.

Stab You In the Heart is the absolute highlight of the album.  It’s a re-imagining of Hippy Hippy Shake, and it’s amazing.  After the first listen, I had to skip back to the beginning and hear it all over again.  The lyrics are genius, and the guitar is excellent.

Sugar Youth is another energetic track, that has the most in common with earlier Green Day anthems out of any other song on offer here.  Just as this one is really working it’s way in, its over – like almost every track on the record, it’s in and out in around 2 minutes.  The “get in, get your point across, and get out” nature of these tracks is the greatest strength of the album.  Every song leaves me wanting more…

Junkies on A High is unlike any other track.  There’s an ominous feeling throughout, with the slow and well thought out musical background helping to emphasise the slightly dark, and most likely autobiographical lyrics from Billie Joe, as he sings about a downward spiral into alcoholism.  Personally, I’m very glad he came back from his darkest point.

Have you ever heard the album that Green Day made under the moniker of Foxborough Hot Tubs?  Take the Money and Crawl would not have been out of place on that album at all, while the album closer, Graffitia, is a great closing track.  It’s big and bold, with the band sounding fantastic.  More piano flourishes add colour and extra substance to the track, but it’s really Billie Joes vocals that are the star of this piece – he sounds better than he has in years.

Not since American Idiot have I liked an entire Green Day album from start to finish.  Sure there have been tracks on each album that I have enjoyed, some I’ve even loved, but never the entire album.  Father of All Motherfuckers breaks that pattern in a big way.  It’s a very enjoyable record, and at only 26 minutes long, it’s well worth the listen.

Actually, I think I’ll hit play again…

9/10

Shayne McGowan.

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