Green Day albums revives punk rock era

The cover of Green Day's latest album, Revolution Radio.

Courtesy of wikipedia

The cover of Green Day's latest album, Revolution Radio.

Audrey Serrano, Features Editor

Since their debut in 1991, punk band Green Day have been consistent in their musical activity, even throughout the trends that have been going in and out since the early 1990’s.

Their 12th album, Revolution Radio, released October 7 after a four year hiatus still maintains the authentic early 2000’s Green Day vibe millennials would recognize with iconic songs such as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, “American Idiot”, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, and “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” .

The punk band, started by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt in 1986, was not well-known until their second album, Dookie, was released in February 1994 and included memorable singles such as “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around”.

Their commercial relevance declined until their revival in 2004 with the release of American Idiot, right in the middle of a time in which social platforms, namely MySpace, ignited their popularity with the younger generations, alongside similar punk rock bands such as Sublime, The Offspring, and Blink-182.

Revolution Radio contains 12 songs including singles “Still Breathing”, “Revolution Radio” and “Bang Bang”. Each song on the vibrant album contains deep, heartfelt lyrics which are a bit dark and contribute to sensitive, but relevant, topics going on in history currently.

The album starts off with “Somewhere Now”, beginning the song with soft vocals and acoustic guitar. Halfway through the lyric, “how did life on the wild side ever get so dull?” the vocals increase in sound and the heavy guitar beat starts.

The whole album dissolves into different tunes of the same message and as it seems to be a recurring theme in each of the band’s albums, speaks out about the government in a subtle way. Upbeat songs such as “Bang Bang”, “Say Goodbye”, “Revolution Radio”, “Still Breathing”, and “Troubled Times” all have lyrics pertaining to sensitive political issues.

This is not the first album in which the band have blatantly bad-mouthed the government in their songs with lyrics like “we will be seen but not be heard, we are the songs of the disturbed” and “we live in troubled times” as it is usually Green Day’s authenticity. Revolution Radio definitely keeps the band’s rebellious vibe with each track.

The second song on the album, and easily the most hardcore, “Bang Bang” starts off with the words “this is definitely not the first video to surface of an execution” being spoken rather than sung. The aggressive song is sung from the perspective of a psychotic mass shooter, with lyrics like “shoot me up to entertain, I’m a semi-automatic lonely boy”.

The track is just like any other angsty song you’d expect to hear from a band with Green Day’s sound and sustains the heart-racing beat that the album started with.

The second to last song, “Forever Now” finishes the album, as it references the first verse of the album. The first song transitions into the latter perfectly, making it the longest song on the album reaching up to almost 7 minutes.

The closing record on Revolution Radio seems different from any other of Green Day’s work as the song was not originally written for the album in particular, but for Armstrong’s upcoming movie. “Ordinary World” is all soft tones and a country-esque romantic vibe with lyrics like “baby, I don’t have much, but what we have is more than enough”.

It would have been a great way to just end the album with “Forever Now” as the number circles back to the first song but “Ordinary World” gives the album a twist as it is not like Green Day to end their albums with a softer acoustic note.

The punk rock band has stayed relevant through 2 decades of rising and falling music trends and alongside the release of this album, Blink-182’s California and A Day To Remember’s Bad Vibrations, all released in 2016, will surely impact the younger generations and the outcome of the punk rock genre.