As one of the biggest names in punk music, Green Day has been smashing the charts since the release of their 1994 album Dookie. Known mainly for their political stances and catchy guitar riffs, the three piece has come out with their twelfth release, entitled Revolution Radio.
At first glance, the album seems similar to American Idiot, in that the band is bemoaning the state of our country. However, the release is similar to older Green Day in terms of sound. The political commentary, however, is just as strong. Revolution Radio goes into detail about the state of America, bringing up mass shootings, social media, and overall political chaos. Although it can be seen as pessimistic, the twelve tracks are brutally honest, and make no attempt to mask the band’s opinions. Billie Joe Armstrong recently commented on the first single of the album, Bang Bang. He mentioned that writing from the mind of a psychotic shooter, “freaked [him] out”. While it must have been a difficult track to compose, it is easily one of the best (and most powerful) tracks. It opens, in fact, with audio of reportings on mass shootings in America. Some songs, however, are less angry. Still Breathing harbors a softer sound than its precursors, and brings a hopeful light to an otherwise dark album. The longest song on the record, Forever Now, displays the panic and bitterness of an outraged citizen. Armstrong talks about wanting to “start a revolution”, and in some ways, the song summarizes the album better than the title track. At nearly seven minutes long, it has been described as “a mini rock opera of sorts”, and is by far the most ambitious track on the album. Towards the end, different parts of the song overlap in one massive chorus. The effect, to say the least, is breathtaking.
At a time when pure passion in America is too often stifled, Green Day has released a record that highlights that passion, and the reason they continue to make music. Unapologetically bold and shatteringly loud, the band has never been the type to be submissive, or obey any kind of social standard. Green Day continues to be themselves – cynical, rioting rebels – and that is exactly what sets them apart from every other classic punk band.