The most obvious problem lies within the record’s lyrics. Whether the purpose is born from genuine anger or childish humour, the album is chock-full of swearing that is about as rebellious as wearing your underwear two days in a row. Indeed, in the first few lines of opener ‘Nuclear Family’ (which is probably the best track on here), Armstrong prides himself on the fact that he’s been “drinking angel’s piss.” WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Are we to glean a positive or negative connotation from that? Such a bizarre choice of words immediately pulls you away from the album and leaves you wondering whether or not this whole enterprise is a contrived and unfunny practical joke.
Hardcore fans and the group themselves will probably be jumping up and down to tell us that ¡Uno! is a much-feared “return to form.” In a certain respect, it is. Moving away from the loftier concepts of preceding albums American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown (perhaps one of the most nonsensical LPs of all-time), Green Day have returned to the measured and controlled punk ‘thrash’ of their earlier years. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though; ¡Uno! fails to scale the artistic heights of albums like Dookie and Nimrod and will undoubtedly fall short of the mark commercially too.
When you’re told a record will provoke repeat listens, that’s generally A Good Thing. In this case however, you’ll be forced back to ¡Uno! time and again because of its frightening vapidity and ceaseless anonymity. ‘Kill The DJ’ is conspicuous by its utter uselessness while songs like ‘Loss Of Control’ and ‘Fell For You’ are as unappealing and forgettable as their generic, catch-all song titles imply. A world awaits in sheer horror for what will be unearthed by ¡Dos! and ¡Tre!, due for release in November and January respectively.