History has seen some pretty awesome trilogies: Bowie in Berlin, The Godfather, Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future etc. Have Green Day brought us the next one with ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! And ¡Tré!? Let’s jump into Pop Punk at Middle-Age pt 1.
Driven by the simple and immediate garage-rock of ‘Kerplunk’ and ‘1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours’ but lifted by the anthemic stadium-sized ambitions of later work, ‘Uno’ is a fresh blast of energy from a band who were starting to seem a little tired.
While ‘21st Century Breakdown’ was stale, stagnant and bloated, Uno sees the daddies of pop punk trimming the fat and returning with a short, sharp hit of adrenaline and howling hedonism.
They hit the ground sprinting with a rush of classic Green Day in opener ‘Nuclear Family’. Rather than some grand statement or think-piece, Uno feels like an album written to be played live. The dynamics and choral anthemics of ‘Carpe Diem’ are there to please arenas the world over, and ‘Troublemaker’ is the sound of Iggy Pop backed by The Hives – the perfect formula for a pogo-frenzy.
It’s pretty diverse too. ‘Kill The DJ’ is an addictively angular Franz Ferdinand-esque lesson in dance rock while 'Fell For You' has the toe-tapping pop sensibility of early Beatles.
Sadly, the pace is far from relentless. ‘Let Yourself Go’ bares a cookie-cutter resemblance to ‘Maria’ from ‘International Superhits’ and lunch-hour exercises ‘Loss of Control’, ‘Angel Blue’ and ‘Rusty James’ feel more than a little lazy.
The moments of filler beg the question of whether Green Day have hidden one perfect album amid a misjudged trilogy or if the best is simply yet to come.
Packed with tales of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, Uno is Green Day stepping down from the soap box and onto the dancefloor. It’s nothing new, but it’s not a mid-life- crisis record. They’re not trying to right any wrongs now – they’re just here for a good time.