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The ageing Godfathers of punk-pop look to their snotty-nosed genesis for their latest opus... But is this too much to ask?

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The first in an ambitious trilogy of albums to be released over four months, ¡Uno! has been billed by some as a return to the thrilling days of the California pop-punks’ snotty, slacker-teen breakthrough, Dookie.

But any hopes of such a feat, wiping away 18 years of Grammy Award wins, a Broadway opera and grandiose, million-selling political statement albums are swiftly dashed.

Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool long ago traded their hormonal, spittle-flecked urgency for closely harmonised, Singstar-friendly pop nuggets with a thunderous sheen.

Despite the band claiming they’ve hit their most creative period ever, ¡Uno! disappoints with some creakingly familiar chord progressions and nebulous, disposable lyrics.

Let Yourself Go and Nuclear Family rant and snarl encouragingly, Tre’s rapid-fire drumming conjuring up some of the Dookie magic, but Kill The DJ’s loping beat and nasal, repetitive call - apparently for politicos and pundits to shut up - sounds uncharacteristically tired and unimaginative. A very mixed bag.

2 stars

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