Their highest heights may remain off limits, but there’s enough to prove they’ve still got teeth.
Label: Reprise Records
Released: 7th October 2016
These are strange times for Green Day. If you were in an argumentative mood, you could say they’ve not released a truly successful album since 2004’s ‘American Idiot’. In the twelve years since then, they’ve hardly bombed, sure, but ‘21st Century Breakdown’ couldn’t help but wilt slightly in the shadow of its predecessor. It’s 2012’s trilogy of quick-fire records that really put the pressure on: ‘¡Uno!’, ‘¡Dos!’ and ‘¡Tré!’ are perhaps most notable in quite how easily forgettable they became – definitive proof that quality is better than quantity. If a band with a back catalogue as shiny and laden with megahits as Green Day could ever need to prove themselves all over again, this could well be it.
Thankfully, they’ve at least learned some of their lessons. Picking themselves up and getting back on their charger, ‘Revolution Radio’ is still very much post-’American Idiot’ Green Day, painted in prime political colours, all raised fists and aggression. Finding a strong footing in their latter day strengths proves a sharp move. While peers try to rediscover the lightning that broke them through as spotty youths, Billie Joe Armstrong seems intent to recharge his imperial phase, spitting loud and proud over lead single ‘Bang Bang’. Their highest heights may remain off limits, but there’s enough to prove they’ve still got teeth.
And that’s where the outside narratives start to take hold. In a world where Trump runs for the White House, Green Day’s smart vitriol seems like it’s needed even more than during the Bush years. More focused than at any point since, they’re a band rising to the challenge.“We live in troubled times,” Billie Joe sings. He’s right, but at least the soundtrack to the downfall is sorted. Christopher Jones