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It's snappier than the punk rock opera of 2004's classic American Idiot and the sprawling majesty of follow-up 21st Century Breakdown. But on Uno!, the first of three Green Day albums to be released over the next four months, even though they hark back to their pop punk roots, it doesn't mean they revisit the raw, more basic and sometimes bouncy mood of the band's first incarnation on the likes of 1994's Dookie.

Because though the album is shorter, Green Day still retain the tougher, more refined and ambitious musical approach of their two previous records, both of which helped revive their popularity and make them one of the biggest American bands around.

And as single Kill the DJ suggests, the weight of the world is not bearing down so heavily on main man Billie Joe Armstrong's shoulders this time round. It's a silly, fun song, though the idea of holding a nice chap like superstar DJ David Guetta under water until he drowns seems a little passe in this day and age. Still, it's catchy as hell.

Yet the 11 other slabs of pop punk rock are far better, with standout Loss of Control coming on like a cross between The Damned's Neat Neat Neat and a rousing stadium rock anthem, with its arcing guitar riff and foot-planting, knee-flexing chug.


Despite the bratty flippancy of Kill the DJ, Uno! is a powerful, poignant record, from the thick, thumping groove of Carpe Diem, where Armstrong asks "are we all too young to die?" which is a nod to all three of them turning 40 this year, to the lovely melodicism of Sweet 16 and the dulcet, wonky guitar of Stay the Night that intensifies to a gallop before ending with an outrageously long solo.

And, not forgetting that Armstrong writes a stirring love song too, Fell For You is one of his best yet as he sings about her "crashing my imagination" and kissing her lips and "it felt so true".

Then there are the straightforward grunt songs like their trashy Pistols-meets-Buzzcocks impression on Angel Blue and Let Yourself Go, which is sure to be a live favourite with its potty-mouthed lyrics and brazen outbursts of shouty vocals.

It's songs like punchy anthem Rusty James and unassuming first single, Oh Love, with its rousing, almost Celtic swagger, that ensures this is yet another fun, chest-beating, shout-along triumph. Whether they can keep it up for a further two albums - especially with Green Day hip-hop track, Nightlife, to come on Dos! - we'll have to wait and see.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: Cracking good start to a pop punk rock trilogy

Click here to buy a copy of Uno! by Green Day.

- TimeOut