by Destin Piagentini
The last time Green Day hated on a Republican president who was up for reelection, we received one of the most inspired and culturally important records to ever come out of the punk genre. 2004’s “American Idiot” spoke to the struggle existing within an American society that was crazed by paranoia, drugs, war, and the usual insanity of politics. Now, in 2020, with the country facing a similar situation, Green Day throws up phrases in their new album such as “kick the dog when the whistle blows” and “baby got the hyperbole.” Because, well, that sounds kinda cool . . . right?
Needless to say, this album is a mess. The instrumentals, although no instrument or riff is particularly bad, are less than the sum of their parts. Instead of snare drums, the band often uses clap tracks on nearly every track. The guitar riffs are pretty cookie-cutter and repetitive (but not in that iconic Green Day way), leaving an impression of boredom in most songs. For an album that’s intended to make you dance, the tempos are some of the slowest in the band’s history. The lyrics are easily the worst part of the album. They feel like a mad lib of “American Idiot” only replaced incoherent metaphors within a context where they just don’t land. The album’s mixing feels as if it was done by a group of hungover Cocker Spaniels who hate their miserable, miserable job as an audio engineer. I swear, (as someone who has never mixed a song in their life) I could fix these songs in ten minutes or less.
We should’ve expected it, too, if the band’s new modus operandi is any indication. In promoting the album the band has assumed a carefree and “no fcks given” attitude by declaring “no Swedish songwriters” and “100% pure uncut rock” in their advertising campaign. There are some things that I like in this album (~300 words doesn’t give me much room), but I can not recommend it as a whole. With “Father of All Motherfckers,” the band feels like they’ve finally given up, not only symbolically, but also literally puking all over the Green Day legacy: The album’s cover art features a drunken unicorn vomiting rainbows on the iconic hand grenade heart from “American Idiot,” because, as I quote the band, “Nothing says f*ck you like a unicorn.”