Graphics by Sam Goodman
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By Megan Doherty, WERS Staff Writer
Artist: Green Day
Album: Father of All...
Favorites: Take the Money and Crawl, Father of All…, Sugar Youth
For Fans Of: Weezer, The Black Keys, Foo Fighters
With the release of their 1994 album Dookie, Green Day established itself as one of the most acclaimed pop-punk bands. That album also proved to be arguably one of the best and most influential pop-punk records of all time. Even after ten years, Green Day remained on top as one of the most dominant voices of their generation with their smash album American Idiot.
With such decade-defining rock albums, Green Day developed an instantly recognizable sound. When I think of the band, my mind immediately hears the heavily distorted guitar riff in “Brain Stew,” Billie Joe Armstrong's angsty, politically-driven lyrics in “Holiday,” or the iconic bass line from “Longview.”
Green Day has never shied away from expressing their political opinions.
Since their last huge political album came out during the Bush-era, I was expecting an updated version. However, they traded in their political punk tracks for more upbeat, danceable, pop-rock music for their latest record Father of All… This new album is by far the group’s most straightforward, carefree approach to songwriting. The entire record demands very little of your time–only 26 minutes–and delivers a fun rock and roller.
The title track kicks open the record in a fashion that’s almost unrecognizable as Green Day.
Punchy, distorted power chords rip open the album on the title track “Father of All…” The song takes the shape of a high-energy, bluesy, Black Keys-inspired tune that you can blast while breezing down the highway. Billie Joe switches from his usually distinct vocals to a falsetto reminiscent of Jack White throughout the track. The group squeezed in a wailing, distorted guitar solo surrounded by screams and drum fills before wrapping it up with a final chorus.
Billie Joe doesn’t completely abandon the group’s old sound and lyrical content on the new album.
“Take the Money and Crawl” walks the line between having a wildly energetic, detached attitude and one of social commentary. The track’s lyrics detail how people get money nowadays, while also focusing on living messily.
A power chord riff cuts into the ominous opening littered in static to kick the song into the next gear. A distorted guitar rides the melody throughout the song and yields to the vocals during the chorus. As Billie Joe starts singing, “This is the wildlife, I’m gonna take a dive/Take the money and crawl,” I want to jump around to this insanely energetic jam. Green Day evokes an utterly carefree, spirited feeling as a rocking instrumental takes over. It’s a piece of songwriting that you'll recognize as Green Day. However, it also encapsulates the new, fun sound they were aiming for.
Green Day redefines their sound with Father of All...
The album bounces from their signature sound in “Sugar Youth,” to the Motown-influenced “Stab You in the Heart,” to their nuanced garage-rock track “Fire, Ready, Aim.” They pushed boundaries to create a carefree, danceable record.
A combination of new and old rock sounds melt together over the course of the ten songs in an undeniably catchy fashion. Their shift to a lighter, fun sound in place of angry social-commentary tracks actually fits the time perfectly. It allows people to come together to rock out and dance away the night.
On this album, they don’t sound so much like a band that’s older than most college students. Rather, they seem like a reinvigorated group eager to create a blended genre record based in rock that’s purely fun. Overflowing with memorable melodies, guitar solos, and fun clapping, Green Day produced a danceable, quick album just in time for their Hella Mega Tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer.