Little did they know it then, but Green Day would eventually give birth to a new genre of music dubbed “pop-punk”, and with it have spawned snot-nosed, nasal vocal, dye-jobs that pale in comparison to the originals. Green Day have ridden a wave from punk darlings, to multi-platinum success, critical acclaim, street-cred, and eventually the likes of Broadway never really straying to far from the formula of loud guitars, catchy hooks, and skinny ties. Their last project, 2012’s Uno, Dos and Tres were noted missteps without a real narrative. Revolution Radio comes at a time when rock n roll is having a bit of a resurgence, even though it never really went away, and works hard to fit in the band’s canon.
The formula is still there, the punk is still there, there are some really good things happening, but for some reason the record fails to fully connect.
But there are bright spots….
Lead single “Bang Bang” is a shot of adrenaline in true Green Day fashion, fast, loud and unapologetic. “Say Goodbye” is tight songwriting as the bastard child off of American Idiot. “Outlaws” are the bands best impression of a doo-wop protest song. “Still Breathing” is certainly the most upbeat song on the record, one where the damn chorus burrowed into my skull with milk and cookies to set up shop for a while. For those that dug the rock-opera of American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown the band feels the need to deliver the mini-punk / prog of “Forever Now” featuring three very separate songs that are forced into 7 minutes. “Jesus of Suburbia” it is not, but a decent effort. “Ordinary World” rounds out record with an acoustic ditty and play on Armstrong’s first starring role in a feature film of the same name.
Revolution Radio doesn’t pack the insane punch of Dookie, nor does it have the same message as American Idiot, but it feels like a “back to basics” rock record and a good return to form for a band that offers the same youthful energy as if it were 1994.