GREEN DAY – REVOLUTION RADIO
Released: 07 October 2016
℗ 2016 Reprise Records
- Somewhere Now
- Bang Bang
- Revolution Radio
- Say Goodbye
- Bouncing Off the Wall
- Still Breathing
- Too Dumb to Die
- Troubled Times
- Forever Now
- Ordinary World
Four years since we heard anything from the Oakland punk veterans, Green Day are finally back on the saddle with their latest LP Revolution Radio.
The last four years have proved to be a bumpy ride for the band with Billie Joe Armstrong’s admission into rehab and Mike Dirnt’s wife battling (and beating) breast cancer, needing a break was unquestionable.
Come 2014, Green Day headlined Soundwave Festival, declaring with joy how happy they were to be back – to be alive. No new music was on the horizon just yet but the fans were just happy to have the boys back.
Fast-forward to August 2016 where Billie Joe Armstrong officially announced the new album via an Instagram post, and so the hype began to climb.
Following up from 2012’s trilogy of albums (Uno! Dos! and Tre!), Revolution Radio takes a different approach with the band opting to self-produce the record in their new studio, Otis.
The album is a vibrant collection of songs that tie together the loose ends of Green Day’s career to date. Much like the era of confusion and anger in American Idiot, Green Day’s twelfth album is a fiery commentary on the world around them.
A lot can be said in twelve tracks and what we are given is a loud, punchy and no apologies record. It’s nostalgic in a sense where songs like Somewhere Now donning an acoustic riff in the same vein as 39/Smooth while Youngblood, Armstrong’s ode to his wife of 22 years, is more like an extension of She’s A Rebel.
Tracks like Bang Bang, Revolution Radio, Say Goodbye and Troubled Time take on a more political observation, with Bang Bang adopting the perspective of a mass shooter (a current epidemic in America) and Troubled Time posing questions rather than giving us the answers.
Outlaws and Still Breathing are more of a personal narrative, the former reminiscing the band’s young punk days and the latter tying in with Armstrong’s recent admission into rehab. The album comes to a soft close with acoustic ballad Ordinary World which was originally written for the film of the same name (that Armstrong acted in).
It’s evident how much of a difference self-producing the record has made to the general vibe we get from Revolution Radio. The songs are clear as day and polished but still rock n roll as hell. Although the album has classic Green Day undertones it’s evident how far the band have come in their 30-year career. They’ve never been one to shy away from experimenting with new sounds and making it theirs.
Keeping things true to the Green Day way, the album is packed with banging drums, protruding bass lines, hooky solos and of course, Armstrong’s clever song-writing backed by his ever-improving vocals. Revolution Radio really highlights the band’s individual talents and features some of (drummer) Tre Cool’s best stuff yet – highly energetic but bringing back the reins when needed.
To say Revolution Radio can be compared to the success of Dookie or American Idiot is a bit of a stretch, but who wants to hear the same record twice anyway? This is Green Day in 2016 and you can take it or leave it.