Green Day- Revolution Radio
I was pretty late to the Green Day party. While I was to discover the wonders of Dookie later in life, I had my first experience of the band through their more radio-friendly and more controversial punk album, American Idiot. As a band, they proved to be a major force in the punk rock movement of the early 2000s, but since 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day begun to lose steam; releasing three average albums in between.
This lack of form made me sceptical going into this record, especially considering how much I did not enjoy Blink182’s most recent record, due to how clean and “un-punk” it was. Fortunately, there is a lot more enjoyment to be had in this Green Day record, because unlike Blink182, Armstrong and company can still pen a decent chorus and decent riffs.
If going back to their roots was the goal of this album, then Revolution Radio is Green Day’s best record since American Idiot. With better song writing brought to the table, the band successfully brings back many of the great sounds of the early Noughties. Notable highlights of this record include the acoustic opener ‘Somewhere Now,’ a pulsing opener that provides some of the bands most introspective lyrics since 21st Century Breakdown. The singles from the record ‘Bang Bang’ and ‘Revolution Radio’ are also some of the more fun tracks of the record, with Armstrong throwing out some more tried-and-tested lyrics about war and societal problems in America that (while not as fresh as they were on American Idiot), still seem relevant considering the context of political events of this past year. But the two highlights for me are the songs ‘Forever Now’, three-part track that has some of the most fun and exciting guitar work of the entire album (especially in the second part, ‘A Better Way to Die’), and the acoustic closer ‘Ordinary World’, which serves as nice heartfelt ending to the album, concluding it in a more optimistic tone.
The complaints however with this record are (like with Blink182), the production and style is as far from punk as can possibly be. The sounds are clean, poppy, produced, and lack any real roughness to them. For a punk record, that roughness is sorely missed. However, even in spite of the generic production choices, the better song writing still gives these songs some much-needed bite.
Overall, this record is a welcome return to form, but Green Day is hardly all guns blazing on this record. While it is no disappointment, (and I wouldn’t mind listening to it again) one hopes that they can take their punk sound in a new direction and push the genre out of the corner it has painted itself into from the early Noughties, and into some experimental territory. If there is one punk band that certainly can do that, it is Green Day.
Green Day- 'Revolution Radio'
Green Day- 'Bang Bang'