CD REVIEW: Green Day
Revolution Radio (Reprise Records)
The best artists are the ones that change with every iteration. John Coltrane went from bebop enthusiast to an avant-garde spiritual squealer, Bob Dylan started by imitating Woody Gutherie and turned into a pill-fueled mercury poet. David Bowie initially wrote children’s songs but later became the androgynous alien from Mars, Ziggy Stardust. Green Day, however, has not changed remotely in at least 10 years.
Their new album Revolution Radio brings little new material to the music catalog of the now 30-year-old rock band. The tracks ooze with predictable power chord progressions and guitar effects that sound the same on every track since American Idiot released 11 years ago.
Green Day had a run of great hits in the 90s. Songs like “Basket Case” and “Brain Stew” made them a force to be reckoned with on popular radio. The band hit their peak with 2004’s American Idiot and have continued to try to ride that same wave ever since. The few standout tracks are the ones that are not 40 year old men playing punk rock, but a veteran rock band playing true to themselves. “Say Goodbye” breaks the trend of album’s monotonous first three tracks, using comparatively more dynamic range.
Green Day has now released their 12th studio album and the eyeliner is beginning to fade. The excitement of their older material functioned because it was different. Today there is a Green Day sound-a-like band playing in every crappy bar in every city. Unless the band sits down and looks long and hard into their punk-rock mirror, listeners can expect a carbon copy product from the band that no longer fits their own brand.