Roll Your R’s (Green Day, Revolution Radio review)

Experience will teach you a lot. For instance, I couldn’t roll my r’s until someone taught me how. And granted it’s probably a useless skill, but I hear that some chicks enjoy it when you kiss ’em with that level of dedication.

Just something to think about, you creative cuties.

Green Day – Revolution Radio
released October 7, 2016
******** 8/10

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Green Day is an American punk band that formed in 1986, the year after I was born. They’ve released twelve studio albums to date, starting with the Lookout! produced 39/Smooth. This was followed up by Kerplunk in 1992, the year my baby brother was born. But in 1994 they released the album that caught my attention and introduced it all for me, Dookie. I must’ve listened to that cassette over a 100 times with my BFF.

9 year old’s listening to 22 years play punk rock. Everything about that statement just makes me smile.

Green Day have made twelve studio albums over their career, one of them a rock opera that went on to become a broadway play, another three that were released in the same year, and they’ve got a movie in the works too. Let me just put it to rest right quick, Revolution Radio is a return to form for Green Day, and while I love him, Meanthony Jerktano is wrong in his review of this record.

These guys are making punk rock which is self-referential and intimate, focused on the fact that they lived a fast life, but are finally in the throws of middle age. I suspect they thought the might burn out first. What do you do when the genre you helped define is turning into a dirty word? Keep doing you.

Revolution Radio takes from the missteps that were Uno! Dos! and Tre! and presents an idea, protest.

It’s not the kind of music that has profound or beautiful effects, but I don’t think we should be looking for that from these guys. Somewhere Now pulls from The Who, while Bang Bang assumes the identity of a murderer who wants to be internet famous. The next single (and title track) Revolution Radio is catchy and maturely constructed, referencing the Black Lives Matter movement at one point, and followed up by Say Goodbye another song which looks outward to challenge the issues of the day.

Surprisingly enough I find the album gets even better once we get into the middle of it. Outlaws is reminiscent of American Idiot days, and I think is probably the reason why so many critics are saying Revolution Radio is the spiritual third in the real trilogy of American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. Also, Bouncing Off the Wall is great, fun and loud – It’s a call back to older Green Day sounds.

Still Breathing takes up back to the political injustices and tells a story through the eyes of three separate protagonists, tying it with Youngblood for my essential tracks of the record.

The remaining songs are great too, Too Dumb To Die features that nostalgia I mentioned earlier, while Troubled Times pairs well sonically. Forever Now is another American Idiot callback, and the closing track Ordinary World is by far the most interesting and up there for me in value – it asks the question of what life would look like if Green Day were in an ordinary world, and it’s clever.

 

 

 

Green Day have a wealth of experience at this point in their lives, and despite having some concerns about what they should be doing with their lives, I think they are on the right path. After all, they symbolically burned the music carrier which got their name out there in the first place.

These guys can take a seemingly useless talent and turn it into a sweet melody, so I say let them play. But hey, that’s just a theory.

Tim!

 

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