In the summer of 2018, a leaked Green Day album circulated amongst the internet.
While unconfirmed, the leak came complete with singles, artwork, studio footage and the title “Magnum Opus Of The Inglorious Kind.” The leaked music sounded genuine to Green Day’s music, but in actuality, the leaks were part of a calculated viral scheme by a Canadian pop-punk band by the name of Panicland. The songs were made as a “fan fiction” project, with band members aiming for how they personally want a new Green Day album to sound like.
From the “leaked” material, Panicland aimed for the grandiose rock-opera approach akin to “American Idiot” and “21st Century Breakdown” while borrowing both from the pop and punk portions of Green Day’s catalog.
Panicland’s Green Day fan-fiction project in the year 2020 sounds more like Green Day than Green Day.
When Green Day released the title track for “Father of All…” as the lead single, the band completely shed what was left of their distinct musical identity. In an attempt to create “100% pure, uncut rock,” the band sonically travels back to the early 2000s to partake in generic rock trends they missed out on while making “American Idiot.”
Billie Joe Armstrong’s fuzzed out vocal performance is unrecognizable and unintelligible, as he ridiculously attempts to capture the essence of rock music through one of rock’s worst periods of time.
The album artwork for “Father of All…” is a symbol for Green Day’s artistic process behind the album itself. The scene of a drugged-up unicorn vomiting directly onto an “American Idiot” album backdrop is the perfect symbolism for what Green Day accomplishes on their new album.
While “American Idiot” isn’t Green Day’s peak in quality, the album stands out as a memorable artistic change of direction and is clearly the band’s most defining career moment. The sound Green Day possessed on “American Idiot” contained enough originality to stand out in a rock market shared by a garage rock revival trend that ultimately overstayed its welcome.
What pushes “Father of All...” from just a cheap attempt to champion rock music in the mainstream to a flat-out insult to Green Day’s own audience and rock music itself is the album’s own superiority complex. The album’s own marketing attempts to prop “Father of All…” up as a revitalization of rock music, but what “Father of All…” ends up doing in 26 minutes is embed the soullessness of mainstream rock music into the listener’s brain as the final nail in rock’s coffin.
Most of the tracks on “Father of All…” feel like fodder for the upcoming “Hella Mega Tour,” neatly packaged with hand claps and sing-a-long lyrics simplistic enough to instruct a massive arena audience to participate.
None of the tracks make enough of a case to warrant individual examination; it’s more accurate to collectively describe the track listing as a nightmarish slideshow of dead sounds. It’s a fever dream of Madden commercials.
For a fan fiction Green Day album like “Magnum Opus of the Inglorious Kind” to exist and attract attention, a market for it must also exist. Panicland’s fake album scheme is an example of why a band playing to their strengths and understanding their audience is a more worthy artistic endeavor than making desperate attempts to wedge themselves into the mainstream.
Mainstream rock’s gatekeeping tendencies and increasing lack of self awareness continues to be its downfall in the case of “Father of All….”