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Green Day goes back to basics

Submitted by Jacob Ellerbee on October 3, 2012 – 7:03 pm2 Comments

Listening to the up-beat, energetic and bubbly songs from Green Day’s latest offering, “¡Uno!” will entice any listener to roll down the windows and savor the warm temperatures of a lingering Arkansas summer. The ninth album from the veteran punk rock band is filled with non-stop action, carefree lyrics, crunchy guitar sounds, crashing cymbals and a thumping bass. “¡Uno!” is a refreshing departure from the group’s recent concept albums, “American Idiot” and “21st Century Breakdown.”

“¡Uno!” has a back-to-basics feel for this three piece band. If there is a comparable album in the Green Day discography, it would be that of the band’s most successful album, “Dookie.” The 1994 breakthrough album was filled with rock radio hits, many of which remain staples among stations across the globe.

Vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong recently talked to Rolling Stone about the new album. He characterized the style of this album as “somewhere between AC/DC and the early Beatles.” The AC/DC part of that equation can be found in the arena-ready hooks and screaming vocals of songs like “Oh Love” and “Let Yourself Go.” The simplicity of the songs and the short run times are comparable to that of earlier works from The Beatles. From top to bottom, ¡Uno! is filled with 12 lively tracks that touch on everything from adolescent love to killing disc jockeys.

This band has been on the scene for over 25 years and is tired of sharing stages with programmers disguised as musicians. In typical punk rock fashion, Green Day decided to berate all of those DJ’s by writing a profane-laden song that talks of shooting, drowning and/or stabbing them. “Kill the DJ” is evidence that the band still has the chops to write a great pop rock song and at the same time, diss people they do not like.

The lead single off of “¡Uno!” is ironically the final track on the album. “Oh Love” is a song that features a brilliant start-stop dynamic that allows vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong room to carefully construct a song about wanting to find love, but not knowing whether to follow his heart or his head. Drummer Tre Cool and bassist Mike Dirnt follow in behind Armstrong in a tight and polished formation. This is a simplistic tune that will be a staple in the band’s live set.

To promote the release of “¡Uno!,” Green Day performed at one of the biggest music festivals in the United States, the iHeartRadio Music Festival. During their set, vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong looked at the clock and saw the band had one minute left before they had to leave the stage. Armstrong began to use expletives to describe his displeasure in the amount of time they had left, almost all of which is not appropriate to publish in a newspaper. His tantrum resulted in a smashed guitar and knocked-over equipment.

Two days following the meltdown, a representative for Armstrong stated that he was currently “seeking treatment for substance abuse.” Additionally, the band released a joint statement that said the festival coordinators did not cut their set time short. The band also decided to postpone a few gigs while Armstrong receives treatment in rehab.

Other promotion for “¡Uno!” includes Billie Joe Armstrong joining the cast of NBC’s “The Voice” as a guest mentor for Christina Aguilera’s team. According to MTV, despite his rehabilitation, Armstrong will still be featured on the television show because his parts were taped several months ago.

“¡Uno!” is the first album in a trilogy that will be released over the course of four months. “¡Dos!” is scheduled for release on Nov. 13 and “¡Tré!” is set for release on Jan. 15, 2013. The trilogy of albums will be released by Reprise Records.