Green Day is still holding on to their punk-rock angst with their latest album, “Revolution Radio,” which dropped Oct. 7.
The group’s 12th studio album debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 95,000 album-equivalent units, 90,000 of which were physical album sales.
The album, which is the band’s first album since 2012’s album trio, “Uno! Dos! Tre!” has many of the same themes as the band’s 2004 album “American Idiot” and 2009’s “21st Century Breakdown.”
Forty-four-year-old frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sings of semi-ironic teenage angst and political disgust in a fresh context with the backdrop of this year’s presidential election.
While the album is basically American Idiot 2.0, it still brings fresh lyrics and new ideas to the punk-rock music scene.
The opening track, “Somewhere Now,” is reminiscent of “Before the Lobotomy” from the album “21st Century Breakdown” in the sense that it alternates between softer, dreamy vocals and powerful guitar riffs and anxiety-ridden choruses.
“Bang Bang,” the band’s first single from the album, is the most aggressive song of the lineup with a fast-paced beat and intense lyrics. Armstrong sings from the perspective of a psychotic mass shooter with lyrics like, “I am a semiautomatic lonely boy, you’re dead, I’m well-fed.”
The title track, “Revolution Radio,” sets the tone for the entire album with lyrics like, “Give me cherry bombs and gasoline” and “Legalize the truth.”
“Say Goodbye” and “Bouncing Off the Walls” are two of the album’s duds, with sounds that seem like they were drafted from every other punk-rock song out there. While they are audibly pleasing, they seem to fade into the background in comparison of the album’s stronger songs.
“Outlaws” brings a sort of surprise to the album and sounds like a love ballad from the 1950s. You can picture guys in their saddle shoes and girls in their poodle skirts dancing to this tune.
The album takes a positive turn with “Still Breathing,” a track about a drug addict on the verge of death, a gambler about to lose everything and a wounded soldier on the front lines.
The track is surprisingly not a lot of punk and is almost a different tone — more hopeful and happy than the rest of the album.
It seems as if most of Green Day’s albums aren’t complete without a song about a tough, exceptional woman and “Youngblood,” dedicated to Armstrong’s wife of 22 years, is no disappointment.
“Forever Now,” running at nearly seven minutes, is a nod to the band’s rock opera days, fusing several songs together and changing rhythms and tunes constantly.
The last track, “Ordinary World,” is a song written for Armstrong’s movie of the same name, where he stars as a failed rocker turned family man.
Listeners have to wonder if the song is reflective of Armstrong’s own life, though he is anything but a failed rocker.
While the album is satisfying to seasoned Green Day fans and is probably doing a good job roping in new ones, the premise of the album is overrated and at times average.
Even so, Green Day’s new album offers up something for fans to obsess over, which they will do no matter what they produce — it’s Green Day.