Tone Deft

“Revolution Radio” by Green Day

By Hanna Schindler
On October 20, 2016

Growing up on American punk-rock band Green Day’s top albums like “Dookie,” “Nimrod” and “American Idiot” and attempting to forcibly become my own version of "Jesus of Suburbia" during some of my most tragic and agnsty formative years, I've been hoping for another strong and authentic album from the group since their release of, “21st Century Breakdown" in 2009.

That cry for adolescance is almost met with every album they've released since the tail end of their "American Idiot" era, but isn't exactly satiated. With that being said, talk of a new album opened a bed of anxiety within my secret pre-teen ridden music obsession and created an impatient monster.

Three months later the wait was over. The band released the LP entitled “Revolution Radio” on Oct. 7, hoping to entirely squash the plethora of internet allegations floating around that said Green Day had somehow lost their punk edge. 

However, the album may not have been the reinvention I, fanboys and critics had anticipated.  

The album begins with a track that resembles something not so punk and not so Green Day, but that doesn’t mean not so good. 

The opening rock ballad is reminiscent of some of the greatest American pop-rock songs in existence with a cacophonous sound that is The Who meets Descendents. 

The next track “Bang Bang” hits as the hardest track on the album, with a sound similar to Green Day’s earlier days, particularly on “American Idiot.” 

With the rapid drumming, vocals and power chords, the song features a narrative that is also reminiscent of the band’s good ole’ days of cringe-worthy listening. 

Discussing gun violence in America, “Bang Bang” creates that aura of forcible discussion surrounding politics and culture that always creates that necessary unease, like dinner topics we push away.  

The next three tracks, however, “Revolution Radio,” “Say Goodbye” and “Outlaws” seem to just miss the mark, even for the pop-punk genre, sounding so heavily engineered, overly melodic and vocally regressive.

The power ballad “Outlaws” seemingly reaches to bands like Queen for inspiration, a similar tactic implemented by emo-punk band My Chemical Romance on their acclaimed “The Black Parade” album. 

However, Green Day’s legendary power ballad tracks like “Are We The Waiting/ St. Jimmy” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, both from the album “American Idiot,” were successful because they were effectively embedded into a track list of hard-hitting punk-rock songs and weren’t trying to be anything but authentic. 

On previous albums, Green Day has successfully incorporated acoustic tracks onto albums, but in this case, something is missing and ultimately, the track list is lacking emotion.

The band’s sound will most likely evolve into something even lesser of the Green Day I and many others grew up on.

Perhaps one day the fifth grader who obsessed over “American Idiot” and “Nimrod” inside of me will be appeased with another Green Day album that hits as hard and inspires as much, or perhaps my nostalgia for the band is clouding my judgment and we will never again see a time where “Jesus of Suburbia” walks the earth.

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