Father of All is just… boring. A product of an aged band and a style that has aged with them, Green Day bring us their latest album, teeming with insipid, tired rock clichés and unimaginative guitarwork. Stuck in 1994, the whole thing is about drinking or drugs or women or being really cool and ‘dangerous’. Father of All is utterly purist in its pursuit of a mainstream rock record – resulting in a serious deficiency of inspiration, or originality. It’s 26 minutes of soundtracks for car adverts.
The album cover is emblematic of the record; a rehash of American Idiot’s iconic heart-hand grenade, admitting Green Day are entirely reliant on nostalgia and legacy to earn streams and sales. The throwback is now adorned with a unicorn obscuring the full album title, ‘Father of all motherfuckers’, because nothing says punk rock like commercial viability. This nostalgia bait is continued repeatedly throughout Father of All, with musical references throughout and lyrics that sound just similar enough to be throwbacks to old Green Day songs. It could just as easily be lazy repurposing, though.
” Green Day are entirely reliant on nostalgia and legacy to earn streams and sales “
Billie Joe Armstrong sustains a strained falsetto throughout the entirety, combined with a filter that makes for fuzzy, irritating vocals, and the impression you might be listening to a demo, not the studio release. Most songs sound very similar, ‘Fire, Ready, Aim’ and ‘Sugar Youth’ sounding particularly alike. ‘Sugar’ in that song, by the way, is a very intelligent, well-veiled metaphor for cocaine. Most of the lyrics are equally deft.
The issue above all else is that the music is, essentially, ‘correct’. It’s not bad, just entirely inconsequential. ‘I was a teenage teenager’ is the same two verses repeated to an unchanging wall of basic guitar rock, with a chorus that says the name of the song and rhymes a lot and is, all in all, exemplar of a song trying to be catchy. It feels constructed.
Whilst the album is not consistently terrible throughout, it suffers in contrast to Green Day’s wider discography. With regards to the genre as a whole, Father of All fails to find a space or gather enough quality to construct its own. Father of All is two things; seemingly a cash grab, and entirely out of touch.
[Header Image: 411 Mania]