Green Day may well have peaked with 2004s 'American Idiot'.
In truth, the preceding albums contained some moments of greatness, but when'American Idiot' came out, it really was a case of "where the f**k did that come from?".
It was a sort of Robert Johnson at the Crossroads moment, and it (for a time) made Green Day on of the biggest bands in the world.
And then they tried the political comment in a rock-opera thing again with '21st Century Breakdown', and all started to come unstuck.
The triple set - '¡Uno!', '¡Dos!', '¡Tré!' was an attempt to get back to basics. As it turned out, it was more an attempt to turn back the clock, and songs of angsty rebellion just don't work as well when delivered by three blokes knocking on the door of 40. 2016s 'Revolution Radio' was just a bit limp by all accounts.
So, 4 years on, are they just trying to milk the old cow again? I really think they've tried to a bit a bit more thoughtful about this album, and tried to do something a bit different with their sound and approach, but still unmistakably Green Day.
Opener "Father Of All" is a bluesy-rock stomper owing a debt to the White Stripes, and 'Fire, Ready, Aim' adds The Hives into the mix - on first hearing the production treatment on the voice sounds wrong, but subsequent listens reveal it to be a worthwhile effect (if not essential) give a slightly ethereal feeling to proceedings.
"Oh Yeah" sounds like it could be a left over from 'American Idiot' and samples Joan Jet / Gary Glitter for the shout along chorus.
There are a couple of "Green Day by numbers" tracks here - not a bad thing, but not exactly mould breaking - these include "Meet Me On The Roof", "Sugar Youth" and "Junkies On A High".
"I Was a Teenage Teenager" is almost a reflective apology (if that's the right term) and the nearest to the teenage angst, I hate everything stock they once traded in. And further re-visiting the old days of being a garage band, "Stab You in the Heart" is a thinly veiled re-tread of "Hippy Hippy Shake" with their own lyrics over the top
(And anyone who's been in a band will agree that one's earliest songwriting attempts are usually "nick someone else tune, change a couple of notes, and throw some other words over the top (or at least that's my experience)).
"Take the Money and Crawl" starts like a Spaghetti Western theme before the fuzz guitar and pounding drums get the album back on track after a slight lull, with events rounded off by "Graffitia".
I'm sure they tried, but couldn't leave out some form of comment backed with Ramones-esque drumming and a proper shout along anthemic chorus. Probably the most Green Day moment in the album.
10 songs done and dusted in 26 minutes - it's fair to day they may be back to their old selves, and finally breaking from the shadow of 'American Idiot'.
Fire, Ready, Aim