When I think of Green Day, I always seem to become very nostalgic. I remember ‘American Idiot’ blasting through my dad’s car on long journeys to Donegal. It was my first taste of rock music; and I have been hooked ever since. ‘American Idiot’, in my opinion, is a once in a lifetime record. Inspiring so many bands I admire like All Time Low and 5 Seconds of Summer to pick up their instruments and play music they truly believe in.
With such an incredible record to live up to, I found their later releases (Uno!, Dos!, Trés!) slightly disappointing. Perhaps it was the three consecutive releases over the span of three months that made those records feel rushed, but this risk did not necessarily pay off. However, after a four-year hiatus since their last release in 2012, Green Day have managed to release a record that lets you know that they’re back and better than ever – this time, delivering quality over quantity.
‘Revolution Radio’, the trio’s newest album, goes back to basics and showcases the very best of Green Day’s sound. Whilst there are no obvious signs of experimentation on this record, that doesn’t discredit the album, but in fact, adds to its many strengths and sticks to classic Green Day punk-rock sound fans old and new alike are so used to.
‘Revolution Radio’ is Green Day’s way of making a political statement, which is why it can be so easily compared to ‘American Idiot’. In a year with so much political chaos; with the US Presidential Elections just under a month away, and division over gun control, ‘Revolution Radio’ has never felt so relevant.
The album begins with an acoustic guitar ballad track called ‘Somewhere Now’, however by the end of the first verse, it’s driven by electric guitars and statements such as “I put the riot in Patriot/And we all die in threes”. The first track sets the tone of the rest of the album; truthful and political, but still rife with distaste for the system.
The lead single ‘Bang Bang’ released back in August is another guitar-driven anthem where Armstrong writes from the perspective of a mass shooter seeking social media fame, “Bang Bang! Give me fame/Shoot me up to entertain”. It’s another way Green Day have altered their classic rock sound to integrate with the modern world.
My favourite songs within the album are ‘Youngblood’, ‘Say Goodbye’ and ‘Ordinary World’. Being the last track on the album, ‘Ordinary World’ takes inspiration from their 1997 single ‘Time of Your Life’; with an acoustic track with a big impact lyrically – offering an optimistic end to the album, “Baby, I don’t have much/But what we have is more than enough/Ordinary world.”
My only criticism is the similarity of the songs on the record. Some songs like ‘Too Dumb to Die’ and ‘Bouncing Off the Wall’, whilst unique in their own way, seem to get lost between the other tracks which pack so much significance. Nevertheless, there’s a reason why this album rose to number one on Friday.
‘Revolution Radio’ is for fans young and old, and comes at a crucial political time in the world. After four long years of hiatus, Green Day have given us the record we have been looking for. This album is by no means perfect. It isn’t as much as a theatrical rollercoaster as ‘American Idiot’, and it provides way more of an impact than ‘Uno!, Dos!, Trés!’. However, this record symbolises the current state of our society with classic punk rock influences.
For me, this record brings me right back to days of ‘American Idiot’; unapologetic rage towards the nation and system we live in. This reaffirms Green Day’s status as one of the biggest rock bands in the world, and their ability to create motivational, influential records will hopefully continue for a long time to come.
Latest posts by Jessica Lawrence (see all)
- QR Music Reviews: The Sherlocks at Voodoo, Belfast - February 24, 2017
- QR Music: Interview with The Sherlocks - January 29, 2017
- QR Music Reviews: Green Day – Revolution Radio - October 18, 2016