This Friday, October 7, probably the most well-known punk band of all time releases their comeback album, Revolution Radio. Green Day has been around since, believe it or not, the mid 80s. The band rose to the fame after their major label debut Dookie was released in 1994. While by no means was Green Day the first on the American Punk Rock scene, they were certainly pioneers of it and indeed changed the way many people looked at this genre. Together, the trio of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool have recorded TEN STUDIO ALBUMS, and the tenth is set to release Friday.
Revolution Radio is actually the twelfth of Green Day’s albums, but the tenth recorded by the trio we now know as Green Day. Lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong claims that their last three albums, ¡Uno! ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!, had “no direction to them”, but he says that their new album is “not so much a makeover as a make under.” Armstrong also says that the new album was written in response to the current state of violence in America.
If you have followed Green Day at all, or even listened to very much of their music, listening to a few second of either of the three singles from this album and you’ll realize the new record is classic Green Day. “Bang Bang”, “Revolution Radio”, and “Still Breathing” all sound like they could be on American Idiot, which is my favorite of the band’s albums, and the one that made me fall in love with Alternative music.
In my freshman year of high school, I started to hang out with a kid that I hated, or at least thought I did. I probably hated him because we were so similar which turned out to be a pretty good thing. His name is Holden and he introduced me to Green Day. Probably the day after I realized I didn’t hate this guy, he told me to listen to American Idiot. Since I am the person I am, it took me about a week to actually listen to it, but once I did, I fell in love.
For me, Green Day’s punk isn’t about yelling and high levels of teenage angst, it’s about melodic chaos. Even writing that feels a little weird, but that’s what it is. Within the searing guitar solos and cymbal crashes, there is a meticulous note structure, and a beautiful story in the lyrics. American Idiot is a rock opera, which basically means the entire album tells a chronological story. That story is a beautiful one, it had such an impact that the album was turned into a Broadway musical (and has now gotten the green light for an HBO movie) by the same name.
I feel like Revolution Radio will be much like American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown (another Green Day rock opera) and tell a story. Billie Joe Armstrong has some pretty strong political views, which led to American Idiot’s success, and since Revolution Radio is about the current state of affairs in the United States, I believe that he has put just as much emotion into it. I don’t call for this record to be as good American Idiot (though I believe it will be better than ¡Uno! ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!) I think it will have just as much effort put into it as any of the band’s best albums. With the band in their forties, this could be the last of the music we get from them. Who am I kidding!? Green Day will still be delivering well into their golden years; I don’t believe that Revolution Radio will be Green Day’s good riddance.