“Nuclear Family” opens Green Day‘s upcoming ¡Uno!, and though the guys have been mostly insistent that their upcoming trilogy of albums will be a departure from their past, this song and accompanying video again recall a certain Green Day of old. Back are the quick tempo and hammering drums, the lyrical references to angel’s piss gargled and warnings that “it won’t be long ’til I detonate,” and most of all that punchy spirit that united much of their earlier stuff.
If “Nuclear Family” were actually cut from Dookie, which it almost could be, this video would have been shot in Dirnt’s parent’s garage. But Dookie is nearly 20-years-old now, those little punks have grown, and Dirnt’s parent’s garage this is not. In their standard uniform of dark-lined eyes and patched-up military jackets, they go hard in a professional looking rehearsal space with professional looking instruments (a drum kit emblazoned with their album cover). And if you listen closely, you’ll even catch a classic rock yelp or two from Mr. Armstrong. Because nine albums later, they know for sure that — – punk rock or balladry, on big bikes or flanked by hot models — they always sound good so long as they rock hard.