By Brian Ives
This week, Green Day made their long awaited return with Revolution Radio, their first album since 2012’s Tre! It sees the guys fired up, not unlike they were in 2004 with their classic American Idiot. This time, though, there’s no concept (like there was with American Idiot and 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown) and the album is short (unlike 2012’s Uno!/Dos!/Tre! trilogy). Will Revolution Radio bring them to a new audience as American Idiot did? Time will tell. But the album won’t disappoint the millions of die-hard fans that the band already has. Here’s our favorites from the new album (we’re not including “Bang Bang,” as that song has been out for a while).
During the 21st Century Breakdown era, Green Day covered the Who’s 1966 epic “A Quick One While He’s Away.” “Somewhere Now” takes that song’s multi-movement structure, and tightens it up into an adrenaline blast (that starts with a delicate acoustic guitar intro) clocking in a just over four minutes. Also, like “A Quick One,” there’s great harmonies. It’s a great opening statement, and is likely choice to open shows on their arena tour.
As in, “Say goodbye to the ones we love,” as Billie Joe Armstrong sings, over and over. It’s an angry song — “Say hello to the ones in control/Teach our children well/From the bottom of the well/Oh Lord have mercy on my soul” — could be inspired by a lot of different recent events. Or events from the early 2000’s; this one would have fit in perfectly on American Idiot, and it would have held its own with that album’s most powerful songs.
“Bouncing Off the Walls”
If Green Day’s ’60s garage rock-obsessed alter egos the Foxboro Hot Tubs (surely you’ve heard of them) wrote a song for Cheap Trick that was meant to be a fun American Idiot B-side, it might have sounded like this. Obviously, that’s a huge compliment.
Hey, where’s Mike Dirnt, and who let former Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook in the studio? Seriously, Dirnt seems to be channeling the Manc four-string legend, which is fitting, as this song definitely calls for a post-punk sense of dread. “What good is love and ‘peace on earth,’” Armstrong sings, “When it’s exclusive?” This is a pretty fitting song for the last days of the election cycle. And maybe, for what comes after.
Even as the world crumbles, people will fall in love. And they may well do it to anthemic power pop nuggets like this one. (P.S. the song and the lyric video are a bit NSFW)
Green Day is currently on a U.S. club tour; tonight (October 8) they’ll be at Webster Hall in New York City (check back tomorrow for our review and photos). Check out the rest of their dates at Eventful.