I know Billie Joe Armstrong hates the term ‘pop punk’, but after listening to this track, what the heck does he want me to call Green Day? Pop? Pop with guitars? It certainly isn’t punk, in fact far from it! Let me tell you why…
Right so punk to me is aggression. It’s pent up anger being let out musically rather than violent, or better yet both. That’s what Green Day did when they started way back when, but now after hearing this song and glimpses of their other new tracks, I have got to say that punk can no longer be a word used to describe anything Green Day does. This track is out of date by just over ten years I’d say (if not longer, yeah maybe even longer). It was just pure cheese.
Production wise the track was competent sure, but it didn’t suit the tracks direction for various reasons. It felt ‘too’ polished. It felt ‘too’ clean. There was nothing raw or natural coming from the mix at all. The guitars sounded like pitched shifted distorted synths and the vocals sounded woefully over-produced; a bit like Mark Hoppus, they just sounded robotic. The drums and bass were the only saving grace here as I felt they sounded just like I’d expect a rock track to sound, natural and combative.
Musicality wise the track was as weak as they come. Some simple chord progressions and a fairly safe beat. There was no fancy bass decoration like I’d expect from a Green Day track and the simple chord progression wouldn’t of bothered me if the track had stayed punk rather than pop. Structurally the song suffered too from being repetitive even though the track was only 2:34, it’s almost an achievement when you make a track that short seem repetitive. The vocal performance was functional in my opinion with a couple nice vocal licks but nothing too memorable to hold that worthy.
Lyrically the song sounded cliche to heck, especially when you consider the age of the group. Armstrong sings phrases such as, “I’m a rough boy ’round the edges, getting drunk, and fallen in the hedges”, which just sounds sad coming from a 44 year old man. Don’t give me those rubbish excuses like ‘you are only as old as you feel’ and ‘age is just a number’, because if Madonna sang the same thing, as she often does, you’d be ripping her apart for trying too hard to be young again.
Now should of been the time for Green Day to refine their sound and really produce something special, showcasing to us their ability as musicians. Either that, or at least kept a ‘punky’ edge and attitude rather than faltering at the wayside to appeal to younger audiences.
3/10 – Chuck it in the trash with the other pop-punk comebacks.