When you’re a band like Green Day, with a long, proven track record and a rabid, global fanbase, you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want—backlash, be damned. There may very well be some fallout following the release of their newest, Father of All Motherfuckers. Why you ask? Well, Father of All… is definitely not your standard Green Day record.
Sure, it’s a super-snappy offering, crammed with infectious melodies and rhythms, but it lacks any kind of actual poignancy, lyrically. The album is also short, clocking in at just over 26 minutes. If you’ve heard the first three singles, then you’ve already heard a large chunk of Father of All…
Green Day’s 13th studio album set sees them step outside of their comfort zone, experimenting with a range of new sounds and styles. However, this leads to mixed results. On some of the more hard-charging tracks, Green Day are dabbling with older styles of rock, including garage rock and rockabilly. At other points, there are more soulful elements to these songs, with only a couple resembling the obnoxious punk that has punctuated so many of their previous efforts, which they’ve discussed.
Father of All… opens with the hand clap-heavy title track, which is a propulsive dance number that’s more like the Black Keys or Eagles of Death Metal. “Fire, Ready, Aim” sees the hand-clapping continuing over frantic pianos, irresistible riffing, and singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s higher-pitched vocals. “Oh Yeah” is a fun little number that poaches the hook from Joan Jett’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah),” and samples that track’s chorus.
“Meet Me on the Roof” has an unfamiliar, almost doo-woppy feel to it. However, the song will nevertheless stick to your brain like maple syrup if you hear it more than twice. “I Was a Teenage Teenager,” has a Pixies-meets-Weezer feel with a “Kiss Me Deadly”-esque chorus. “Stab You in The Heart” is a blatant knockoff of the Beatles’ version of “Hippy Hippy Shake.”
“Sugar Youth” is perhaps the album’s best song—it’s fast-paced, with astounding guitars, a steadfast beat that’ll have your head bobbing, and a memorable chorus. The eighth song, “Junkies on a High,” almost has the same pacing as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” while the closer, “Graffitia” feels like the Beach Boys covering “Mony Mony.”
Green Day are trying new things on Father of All Motherfuckers. The album is different, but not bad. Purists may not love what they hear on the record, but the songs are all still extremely accessible and poppy. The compositions and instrumentation exemplify why Green Day has lasted this long while most of their contemporaries have been relegated to the annals of obscurity.