Green Day Lean Into Dad-Rock With “Fire, Ready, Aim”

Green Day is kind of the last band on the face of the Earth that you’d expect to release a hockey anthem, but here we are. Maybe Billie Joe Armstrong was jealous that his son got a song on the NHL 20 video game.

Now, to be fair, this song wasn’t written specifically for the new NHL season, and it’s actually the second single off of Green Day’s newest album Father of All…which is set to come out in February of 2020. But, it is being heavily promoted with the new NHL season, is the opening theme for NBC’s Wednesday Night Hockey block, and definitely has more “rah rah” sports stadium vibes than it does punk-rock vibes if we do say so ourselves.

There are hints of the old Green Day in there — the song clocks in at just under two minutes (very punk), and the lyrics are pretty angry, but the overall sound of this song is more along the lines of something that The Hives would’ve released in  the 2000’s, and not like anything Green Day has ever released. Well, up until now, anyway.

It’s short, hooky, blues-influenced rock. It’s inoffensive. It’s fun, if nondescript. Aside from being angry, the lyrics don’t make much sense (anyone wanna tell Armstrong what the word “hyperbole” means?), but honestly, it’s fine because nobody’s going to be singing this song past the chorus anyway. We don’t want to cast aspersions, but the song kind of feels like it was written to be played behind car commercials and sports games.

Actually, when listening to this song, this Hard Times article comes to mind. Maybe Green Day is trying to cash some royalty checks.

Basically, it’s not really memorable. In fact, the most memorable thing about this song is the music video, and that’s only because someone had the bright idea to give Tré Cool the keys to a Zamboni — which horrifies anyone who’s ever been around one of those massive ice-smoothers (like the writer of this article who spent her childhood as a figure skater).

While it’s understandable that they are probably dying to try something different (and Armstrong has gone on record saying that he doesn’t want to play “four-chord punk” for the rest of his life) we just wish they would pivot in a direction with a little more bite. They’re better than glorified elevator muzak that can be played behind a sports highlight package at a Buffalo Wild Wings.

No, “Fire, Ready, Aim” is’t bad, it’s just not a top-notch effort, which would normally be fine, except “Father of All…” didn’t really feel like a top-notch effort either. And if those two songs are an indication of what the full album is going to be like… well, all we can hope is that the Green Day fan theories are right, and this new album is them trolling us — otherwise we’re about to be really, really bummed out.

Featured Image: Reprise Records

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