1. Father Of All...
2. Fire, Ready, Aim
3. Oh Yeah!
4. Meet Me On The Roof
5. I Was A Teenage Teenager
6. Stab You In The Heart
7. Sugar Youth
8. Junkies On A High
9. Take The Money And Crawl
It might feel like a dereliction of duty ahead of the most desperate fight for its soul and future that America has ever faced at the polling booth, but Green Day are deserting the barricades and kicking back by the pool for 25 minutes.
Having delivered their latest bruising and brilliant portrait of gun-rampaging, post-truth America on 2016’s Revolution Radio, a much-needed palate cleanser after the over-egged Uno!, Dos!, Tre! triple album project, curiously they’ve taken Trump’s reign off and instead knocked together a breezy pop-punk party record about, according to Billie Joe Armstrong, “not giving a fuck”. Which is strange, since now is perhaps the most important time in modern history to give a fuck, and this is a presidency that could have been designed specifically to inspire a righteous, youth-quake-inspiring Green Day double concept album.
They can’t help themselves, of course. ‘Drink it in, dumb it down, suck it up as we watch the world burn,’ Armstrong sings. But it’s a statement of snarling fatalism tacked on to a desert-rock fuzzball called Junkies On A High that’s otherwise concerned with becoming a ‘rock’n’roll tragedy’ and being proud of his porn collection. Because Father Of All… (…Motherfuckers, if the censors didn’t get their way) time-warps Green Day back to the college jock party, with invigorating results.
Meet Me On The Roof finds Armstrong slicking his hair spikes into a duck tail and having a 50s tryst with a cheerleader on the rooftops. I Was A Teenage Teenager, all Pixies bass line and Weezer chug, is a classic truant rock chant: ‘My life’s a mess and school is just for suckers… who’s holding the drugs?’ Reanimating retro rock’n’roll with blasts of modern scuzz-rock to the heart, it’s the wild punk prom you never had.
Before you reach for the gif of a skater Steve Buscemi saying: “How do you do, fellow kids?’, Father Of All… never smacks of mid-life crisis. There’s an age-defying playfulness in the glam hand-claps decorating White Stripes-blasted shimmy rockers like Fire, Ready, Aim and the title track, or the euphoric indie synth-pop of Oh Yeah!. On Take The Money And Crawl they come on like the love child of AC/DC and Arctic Monkeys, and even channel The Beatles doing Hippy Hippy Shake on Stab You In The Heart. Such carefree, nostalgic hedonism might be as untimely as offering Prince Andrew out for a Pizza Express, but it’s refreshing, comforting even, to have Green Day back in their exuberant element, unburdened by message or morality.