Rating – 1/5
There were times when the release of a new Green Day album would engender some excitement, anticipation and a sense of something good this way comes. Perhaps not anymore. Father of all Motherf****rs is not the band’s finest hour. At all. The sound is pure indie pop from the early to mid-2000s. It’s anodyne, sickly sweet and utterly pointless. It might have had a place 15 years ago but not from this band. Let’s not forget that in 2005 we got American Idiot from these guys. If you played this album to them way back then they’d probably chase you out of the studio with a bit of wood.
Whilst bands have peaks and troughs and some have complete changes of direction this is a new low. It takes all the fire that they had on American Idiot and basically ignites their whole back catalog and turns it to ashes.
“Oh Yeah” is disturbingly reminiscent of a Gary Glitter record. Yes, you did just read that. “Stab you in the heart” and “Meet me on the roof” is clearly inspired by 50’s rock and 60’s sun-drenched California pop respectively. Sounds fine on paper but imagine if it was performed by a cover band, at a boring wedding, when they’ve been minesweeping the wine off the table. That’s where this album is at. “Sugar Youth” is the closest thing to actual Green Day but it’s like seeing a picture of an actor that has aged badly, or even that first glance of yourself in the morning after a heavy night. Sure it’s you but damn it’s not even close to the best version of yourself. “Junkies on a high” is like a ponderous lukewarm cover of a Black Keys song that didn’t make it to a release. In the listen it is quite clear why it shouldn’t have been.
No song makes it over 4 minutes which is frankly a blessed relief. It’s not as if they’ve curated them so that the central idea isn’t overworked or worn out. There was none, to begin with. To paraphrase the Simpsons, if the originality of thought was petrol they wouldn’t have enough to go round the outside of a penny. There are the barest of brief moments when they take the horrible vocal tuning off but it never stays away long enough to see out the track and every time it returns you sigh a little deeper. Billie Joe must have some sort of vocal problem or this is one absolute horror of a creative decision.
“Graffitia” ends the album and it’s like a rocked up nursery rhyme with a chanted chorus. The definition of a phoned-in effort that they probably knocked out in 2 minutes. The track itself is 3 minutes and 17 seconds so you can piece that together. There are some worrying touches that crop up that seem to reference the Beach Boys which are as offensive as they are misguided.
It is wise to never take much heart in an album that features a cartoon rock unicorn on the cover. Definitely follow that rule here. Considering this is the band that gave us “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around” they should probably be cut a little slack. The fact that those two examples show what they are capable of is exactly why they do not warrant any. Avoid at all costs unless you have a penchant for films that are so bad they’re good. Wait, no, you guys move along too as this can never have the word good attached to it. Sad. 1 out of 5. They got their name right on the cover. Partial Credit.
Review by Jim Clinch