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Green Day: Father of All Motherfuckers review – apolitical angst with aplomb | Music

Given that George W Bush’s presidency so enraged Green Day they recorded 2004’s American Idiot in reaction, one could be forgiven for thinking that Father of All Motherfuckers might be a nod to the Trump era. Yet their 13th album is startlingly apolitical, more concerned with youthful angst and romance – or, as frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has said, “the lifestyle of not giving a fuck”. Which is all very well, but there is something wearying about hearing a 47-year‑old man singing the none-more-tautologous I Was a Teenage Teenager.

It’s a similarly counterintuitive picture musically. There are nods to contemporary sensibilities, with a slick sheen of guitar effects courtesy of producer Butch Walker, whose CV includes work with Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen, but these are cosmetic touches. In fact, the roots of most of these songs are in rudimentary rock’n’roll. Stab You in the Heart steals shamelessly from Chan Romero’s Hippy Hippy Shake, while Fire, Ready, Aim sounds uncannily like Nuggets throwbacks the Hives. Meanwhile, Oh Yeah! deploys chanted backing vocals that haven’t been in vogue since the Glitter Band’s heyday. But Green Day deliver everything with such panache that the songs’ limitations don’t really matter, especially when they manage to make tired old tropes seem fresh, as on the swooning brilliance of Take the Money and Crawl and Meet Me on the Roof.

Watch the video for Green Day’s Father of All Motherfuckers.

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