Green Day: Uno, Dos, GREAT! – a review
Ever since I had to give my car to my daughter, I haven’t had a chance to listen to a great deal of music. Now I’m riding around in a beat up tour van with a broken radio and no CD player. Think of the van on the cover of the Beat Farmer’s VanGo album. Now you have the idea what I’m dealing with.
Thanks to my daughter’s portable CD player (and the new Green Day CD) I’m back.
I have to be honest. I haven’t enjoyed a Green Day record since Warning, a critically ignored masterpiece that had one 3 minute humm-able blast after another. Like Warning, Uno really pops. Power-pops, that is.
Like the best powerpop acts of yesteryear, Green Day plows through one catchy melody after another, only slowing down once throughout for Billie Joe Armstrong to sing the LPs only balad entitled Sweet 16. The rest of the disc would fit well into the set of any small town powerpop band playing the local dive bar late on a Friday night. In 1982.
In an odd way, this record kinda reminds me a bit of Material Issue’s International Pop Overthrow. Just like Jim Ellison, Billie Joe Armstong’s desperate angst is made even more urgent by the forward thrust of a crackerjack rhythm section. And, Just like International Pop Overthrow, Uno sets a record of sorts. I’ve heard it said that Material Issue’s release set a record for the most song titles containing girls’ names. It is my believe that Uno sets the record for the greatest number of f-bombs dropped on a single release.
The opening cut, Nuclear Family, could have been a Warning outtake. It’s vintage Green day and it kicks ass from start to finish. Billie Joe and Co. hot their stride early on only the second song, Stay the Night, addressing a typical powerpop theme and doing so without being a cliche – and with the energy and urgency one would expect from the best bands of the genre.
Other highlights include Carpe Diem, Let Yourself Go, and Troublemaker.
Uno is the first of a trilogy, the next two to be released within the next couple of months. If they’re as good as this one then we’re all in for a real treat.