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Green Day Says Strange Days Are Here To Stay

Self-proclaimed as “God’s favorite band,” highly popular punk rock group Green Day recently released their first album in four years: Saviors. The album maintains the signature Green Day sound both musically through catchy chord patterns and in Billie Joe Armstrong’s iconic singing style. While the album starts rather slow and repetitive, the final product, particularly the last two-thirds of the album, beautifully portrays the violent passion and creative lyricism that the world has come to expect and love from Green Day. 

Exploring the thematic landscape of Saviors, Green Day tackles familiar territory such as drug use and sobriety, violence, the ruins of modern society, and mental struggles. What sets this album apart, though, is its adept incorporation of contemporary elements into the musical tapestry. It is a bit surreal yet undeniably effective to hear lyrics referencing Instagram or TikTok set against the relentless beats of drums and bass—a testament to Green Day's commitment to the current cultural zeitgeist. Whether commenting on the pitfalls or nuances of social media, the tracks not only mirror our collective experiences but also challenge listeners to confront the impact of these platforms on our lives. 

Such commentary on the presence of a new modern era is most obvious in the twelfth song of the album, “Living in the ‘20s.” The title of the song alone throws listeners for a loop by calling our current decade the ‘20s, subverting our popular understanding of time and social eras. Referring to the ‘20s as the present day is a thought-provoking twist on this violent punk rock ode, which offers a unique perspective on the evolving times and the past century’s demise. Green Day does not hesitate to scream out some of the failings of our ‘20s, highlighting the casual and reprehensible violence we have become accustomed and desensitized to. They also stress the thoughtlessness and constant spew of social media, the pervasive Eurocentrism in pop culture, and the love today’s generations hold for technology, often to a vulgar level. 

Photo Credit: Green Day

“1981” is another one of the album’s highlights, jumping straight into the song with a frenetic burst of drums and a highly-spirited chorus line, encouraging its listeners to bang their heads along with the song as Armstrong sings about an unknown woman doing just the same. The entire song maintains an explosive energy from the persistent bass line to the lyrics themselves, invoking imagery of violent parties that provide an escape from modern struggles to a new, imagined freedom rooted in nostalgia and simpler times. Green Day once again shows their  creativity by looping East Berlin, poisoned coffee, and headbanging into a cohesive vision with a hell of a beat. 

However, the album's Achilles' heel, especially in its initial phase, lies in the monotony of certain tracks. While repetition is a hallmark of punk rock, the genre demands an intricacy in instrumentation to counterbalance the repetitive lyrics. Sadly, some tracks fall short. Take "Bobby Sox," for example. Despite the song's commendable exploration of Billie Joe Armstrong's bisexuality, the background instrumentals lack the dynamism needed to elevate it beyond mere monotony. Green Day has demonstrated their prowess in creating compelling tracks with simple instrumentation in the past, as seen in "Prosthetic Head" from Nimrod or "Father to Son" from Saviors. Regrettably, "Bobby Sox" misses the mark in achieving that delicate balance, leaving the intended vision just out of reach.

To its core, Saviors is a rollercoaster ride of punk energy, reflective introspection, and modern societal commentary. While the initial repetition may test some listeners’ patience, the album's evolution reveals Green Day’s enduring strength and relevance in the contemporary musical landscape. As they navigate the strange days that are here to stay, Saviors stands as a testament to the band's enduring legacy and their ability to inject new life into the punk rock genre. Going from social media references to a bold reinterpretation of the present as "Living in the '20s" to  deliberately infusing contemporary thematic elements demonstrates the band's commitment to challenging norms and sparking reflection. Saviors is a maniacal and wired journey that confronts the complexities of modern existence while celebrating the timeless rebellious spirit that defines Green Day. Despite its imperfections, the album solidifies the band's place as punk rock pioneers who, even in the face of life's chaos, continue to channel the irrepressible energy that has defined their storied career.

Rating: INDY


Sasha Jayne is a freshman in the College and is currently studying various languages towards an endpoint that has not yet been discovered. She is one of the Reviews section editors.


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