Thursday, January 18, 2018
Features and More

Review: Green Day returns to its angst-soaked start with 'Uno!'

How does a band top the biggest, best-selling concept albums of the 21st century, sprawling punk-poperas that gave political voice to a disheveled generation?

How do the braying brats in Green Day expand on the social themes and adolescent angst of 2004's American Idiot and 2009's 21st Century Breakdown?

They don't.

They don't even try.

Instead, singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool have returned to their snotty Berkeley beginnings, three chords and a cloud of rage.

Yep, Green Day is making fast, furious hits a la Longview again — a whole bunch apparently. Starting with Uno!, released this week, the dudes will drop three good-time albums between now and January. It's an old-school idea, the kind of gratuitous sales stunt Kiss used to pull in the '70s.

For the most part, Uno! is fun, authority-thwarting stuff — although the fact that Armstrong just checked into rehab for substance abuse makes you wonder if cranking out a slew of attitudinal party platters was in its own way a Herculean task.

Regardless, Uno! was meant for Saturday nights. Opening with the finger-bleeding riff of Nuclear Family ("Gonna ride the world like a merry-go-round"), then slipping into the libidinal snarl of Stay the Night ("I got an impulse so repulsive that it burns"), the 12-track record is made up of relentless, breathless, candy-coated slam-dances.

Green Day became one of the top bands on the planet because there was usually a brain and a heart behind the rapscallion hellraising. You get a bit of that here, too. Carpe Diem, which sonically honors the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, advises young listeners to live life out loud — but don't be dumb about it. The Welcome to Paradise velocity of Angel Blue and the wistful guitars of Sweet 16 help these now-40-something men look back at their youthful foibles with a smirk, a sigh and a head bang.

Armstrong is so good at crafting hooks that the levity of lyric and brevity of ideas can eventually sound too effortless. Kill the DJ will get press because of its violent response to contempo radio, but the music itself is a strangely polished gallop, like a B-side from the Rolling Stones' disco phase. Shouldn't a death threat be more threatening?

Rowdy love song Fell for You sounds like it was torn off in a matter of minutes, with its scatological wordplay playing like a cheap way to make the throwaway cut more memorable. Troublemaker is a fine rock song, unless you were expecting the band to be, you know, more than fine. Green Day is better than that.

By the end of Uno!, you're happy for the slick, poppy diversions; a lot of this stuff cooks. But you're also ready for the party to be over. Here's hoping the next two albums, Dos! and Tre! (the latter featuring Mr. Cool on the cover), will pack more heft. After all, the boys are old enough to know that Saturday nights are swell, but there's something to be said for Sunday morning, too.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

Comments
Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

ST. PETERSBURG An air compressor did most of the talking as the small crew stapled down flooring to the stage. A master carpenter kept unskilled but eager workers on track, telling them where to line up edges. An astringent smell of glue permeated t...
Published: 01/18/18
Overtourism and safety cited in Fodor’s where-not-to-go list

Overtourism and safety cited in Fodor’s where-not-to-go list

As you contemplate all those "where to go in 2018" lists, here’s a twist: a list of places to avoid in the new year. The where not to go list is from Fodor’s, the travel guidebook publisher. Fodor’s "no list" includes places plagued by overtourism an...
Published: 01/18/18
Bar review: Florida spirits and brews at the newest Local Draught House in Tampa

Bar review: Florida spirits and brews at the newest Local Draught House in Tampa

I don’t consider myself "old" — though I have gotten into a bad habit of informing door people insistent on checking my ID that I’m halfway to 70. But I’m frequently made aware of how far removed my lifestyle is from that of my 20s.So when I walked i...
Published: 01/18/18
Local craft beer of the week: Electric Wizard IPA from 7venth Sun Brewery

Local craft beer of the week: Electric Wizard IPA from 7venth Sun Brewery

The past six months have been kind to Dunedin’s 7venth Sun Brewery. In August, the brewery’s long-awaited Tampa expansion finally happened, with its much larger Seminole Heights facility and tasting room opening in a town eager to try its range of ul...
Published: 01/18/18
Shake Shack, Momofuku and more: Please come to Tampa Bay

Shake Shack, Momofuku and more: Please come to Tampa Bay

Fabio is coming! Not the Fabio on your romance novel, with the billowing hair and large quantities of artificial butter. This Fabio, in all likelihood, uses real butter. And olive oil. Fabio Viviani, the charming Top Chef alum known for appearances...
Published: 01/17/18
Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Published: 01/17/18
Shake Shack inches closer to Tampa Bay with new Florida restaurant

Shake Shack inches closer to Tampa Bay with new Florida restaurant

Beloved burger restaurant Shake Shack, which once inspired hungry diners to wait in hours-long lines at New York's Madison Square Park before expanding with dozens of locations across the U.S., is inching closer to Tampa Bay. A lease agreement  with...
Published: 01/17/18
Florida teen is begging Taylor Swift to take him to prom

Florida teen is begging Taylor Swift to take him to prom

A Bradenton teenager isn’t hoping to take just anyone to his senior prom — he’s set his sights high.Dayton Modderman, a senior at Bradenton Christian School, is getting attention across the web for making a prom-posal video asking Taylor Swift to be ...
Published: 01/17/18
What’s on stage this week: Riverdance, ‘Mike Hammer,’ ‘The Tempest’

What’s on stage this week: Riverdance, ‘Mike Hammer,’ ‘The Tempest’

RIVERDANCE AT 20: CIARA SEXTONShe’s a former world champion in Irish dance, and now Ciara Sexton, center, is leading Riverdance in Tampa. A lead dancer and soloist with the troupe, Sexton said she has felt comfortable touring the states."What really ...
Published: 01/17/18
Steve Martin and Martin Short talk touring together and ‘newfangled old-fashioned’ variety show

Steve Martin and Martin Short talk touring together and ‘newfangled old-fashioned’ variety show

It’s barely been a year since Steve Martin and Martin Short last brought their roadshow to town. But there was never a doubt in their minds they’d be back."We thought — and I seriously mean this — we’ve got to play Florida more." Martin said in a pho...
Published: 01/17/18