I had a hard time trying to decide if I post this here or another place of the forum. But here seems more appropiate, because this be LONG. I've been digesting the new record since the first leak, and trying to understand why Green Day did this as it is. First thoughs were around the "classic" experimentation and eclectic sound, that at this point of their carreer, is the main rule. A lot of people were unimpress, or in the worst of cases, overreacting for the falsettos and that Billie Joe and company has lost their north. To my taste, the band never made such a bold move before, overshadowing Warning by miles. Revolution Radio was the safest record to date, and even if had some sonic innovations added, the mixes and post production killed a good chunk of it. I'm looking at you, bow guitar!
But before that, there it was the beloved or hated Trilogy. And Billie Joe stated that it was "half baked" and "it was prolific for the sake of being prolific". But, after the 50+ listens to this new record, Father Of All is the re-take on it. Shorter, more to the point and more adamant. But a question emerges within me: "Why to come back to something that is seen as your worse work in years?" Billie Joe did Longshot, and it was full of Trilogy vibes. Kill Your Friends screams in protest because it isn't on ¡UNO!, Love is for Losers has the ingredients to be in ¡DOS!, and Chasing a Ghost would be a great add to ¡TRÉ! It would seem more than enough to satisfy the artistical needs of Billie, but the reality shows me that it wasn't enough. A more ferocious and viseral comeback was needed to fullfill that desire.
The change on management that happened around the RevRad era would take effect on this record. New people to mix and master the record, but most importantly, a new producer. Butch Walker was described by Billie like "almost another member of the band", while putting some rejection on the long time Rob Cavallo. "He was more like a coach", he said. It was time for a new air, at least sonically, because the core of Green Day is still there. The main goal was to have fun, mimicking almost too close the motivations of the Trilogy.
So, starting with the title track, Father of All showed us the old same Green Day tackling garaje rock, as they did on DOS, or more elecuently, on SDR. The added twist, in first place, is the falsetto. But more interesting, are the lyrics. FOA doesn't showcase a party, excess or rivers of booze. It shows a tormented mind, a darker tone than you could expect from a record that only wanted to have a good time. We know that Billie Joe can go dark if he wants, but to my taste, this level of paranoia is only matched by lyrics on Insomniac. "Fingers up because is no one to trust". Where is the fun in to be in a permanent state of emergency? Even if the content of the content of the record in general is not social/political, it shows feelings created by a certain social/political enviroment that is not short in therms of toxicity. I'm even talking about an specific person, political party, instead is more close to us as humanity as a whole. "Looking for a miracle" is the best way to resume this song. I think that we are pretty much fucked up as people, who can't be concerned about the real stuff, instead, we drown ourselves on the easy pleasures, ignoring the biggest problems that humanity has yet to face. A lot of the establishment has lost the last drop of decency they said they had. I'm even an american (in the USA) at least, but a chilean who is seeing that in his own country everything is going to the drain. Corruption and greed, festing with lies and represion at the end of the day. And I feel discouraged. I never been that sad before, even if I call myself a misanthropist. My depression has been the worst ever. I can't say that I'm happy that I can see myself in this song. In the end, BJ and co are safer than me.
Fire, Ready, Aim is not so different. How hard has to be the irony to pass a song in TV that attacks how the media in general has become a lie machine? The media is other after the 18-O here in Chile. It showed all its flaws, and they still going like nothing happened. I don't watch TV besides to catch Roger Federer playing, but all the times that I got to see "the news" in the last time, is straight bullshit. I wish, again, that something like this could stop. But things must change to feel remotly safe again, if there is something like that. I worked on media for a few months. I'd prefer to eat shit before going back there. And media has to be changed. The true is that probably it won't happen. Ever.
Oh Yeah is a profundization of the state of emergency showed on FOA. Again, I'm not fond to see myself depicted on a song. I'm sort of glad that BJ has put himself - again, sort of - into the position of a normal guy. Is not funny how we are losing hope, even we have a lot goodhearted people in the world to make it worth. The problem resides in the 1% who controls and owns everything. And they don't wanna lose an inch. I remember how Andronico Luksic (a rich entrepreneur of my country) did a video that quicky become a meme, where he defended himself from attacks in the social media. The audacity to be such a bastard and make stuff to show you as the victim is unreal. I was hearing the voice of a traitor. Is not like he was an ally before (rich man never is), but I'm getting more and more anxious as words are put.
MMOTR seems like is a relaxed number after three of them being so hard. And it seems so, because the ability of these man to craft tunes that comes with surprises has to meet its limits yet. I want some peace of mind, but it seems I want to pick some drowning lessons too. I wonder how high is my low. The last time was pretty bad. I almost end up breaking up with my long time gf. Seems like losing control is the only answer that is remaining to me. I'm tired to feel desperate. I always knew that I was broken, but it was manageable up that point. Now I don't know that to expect for myself when another braking point is reached. I wanna go where the good times go, but not at this price.
The ilusions are getting weirder when I listen to this song. I was a teenage teenager seems a very dumb title at first sight. Very dumb. Then it comes. The very first line is a hard one. "I don't wanna freak you out but I cannot lie". Is something like I use to say to my girlfriend all the time. I don't do drugs, at least in a classical sense. I'm sort of gambler. I play TCG's all the time, trying to hide some pain, making time to pass the day and extending my already useless life. She always told me that I'm not useless, just I'm depress. That I'm a great guy, but looking at myself, I'm just an alien visitor. I can't strees enough how hard is to me to apreciate my talents better. I think that BJ speaks to my soul on this song. I feel detached from my past. School fucking sucked. I can't retrieve good memories from there. At least, something that I can remember with love or gratitude. I don't know what Billie Joe was trying to do with "Sex, Drugs and Violence" and returning to school. Maybe he wanted another chance to make the things right. Maybe he wanted to be a normal guy and not a rockstar. But I wouldn't go back to school. Land of idiots. I don't need more in my life.
I don't know what to say about Stab you in the heart. Maybe I want to that to myself. But not yet. Maybe I'm a fake and I'm lost within myself. It still rocks hard. I think this is the only number who is "fun" with its own right.
Right now, seems pretty obvious that the main theme of this record is anxiety, generated from a lot sources. As I said, I don't do drugs. At least the ones that are mentioned in Sugar Youth. I mean, the closest sugar that I use is the one that I drink with my coffee or tea, depending in how my stomach is in certain times of day. I don't care about fucking a prom queen, but I care for the voices that makes interference with my thoughs at 5AM. Sometimes I want to choke myself and end this suffering, but my desires to make stuff are stronger, yet. I don't know much time I have left, but I got that feeling. I wish I could stop feeling like shit all the time. But maybe this is the first step to solve something. Is the reason why I think that BJ still writes about drugs, pain and despair. To know it better and fight it better. I don't wanna lose control to drink all the poison in the water. If wanted to end my life, I'd do it faster.
I have said before. Junkies in a High is the hightest point of this record. Not only because sounds rad, with that mix of Dark Side of Night and X-ray Hamburger, with those elements that makes you eat the dust of the desert, but also because - going full theory on this - it showcases very well how Billie has felt all these years dealing with the failure of the Trilogy. Is like a well done Nightlife. I remember that BJ said in a Longshot show that "I wrote 37 songs that nobody gives a shit". Well, I do, and I know that a lot of fans also do, but also it has - or had, I don't have any information to backup this - a huge amount of haters. As a songwriter, you tend to see your songs as your sons. And its painful to see that they don't perform well. Dealing with rejection is difficult. Slowly losing his mind, then becomes clear that feeling detached of the past is a common denominator, even if he tried to make amends with it. Specially with all the flashbacks he got making the East Bay documentary, his coming back to Gilman and the introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Is too wild. But then comes this actual world, that is a piece of crap, almost unbreathable. It doesn't matter how much help you can bring, is never enough. I can't deal with that idea that whatever I can do is useless to the big amount of people and living beings in this world, and then this guy, that actually had made an impact in millions of lives, mine included, is stating that what remains is to watch the apocalypse. I felt disgraceful, but nothing too different for what I think of this world. I always believed that one of my sources of my depression is that I can't deal with the losing of this world to make an step forward into the total destruction without any contemplations. I'm stuck into that state of shock. And it seems I cannot help with it, just watch it until dust remains.
I got no money to offer, but if I could pay to some people to leave me alone, I would do it. Maybe there is the peace that I strife for. Being alone. At least no one could bother me anymore. Until final judgement comes, of course.
Maybe my soul will rest on Graffitia. In a city that mimics my own decadence, mirror of the world we still live on. Is getting uglier as we come to know more and more. Is part of growing old.
Is this the best record? I can't tell. Is this the record that I needed to hear? Probably yes. I will make my dance into the darkness, at least rocking with style.
PD: I'm fine. Nothing to worry about