After the tactless tyre fire that was their 2012 trilogy (¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!), Green Day were in desperate need of a weekend away. The faux-punk power- house have had their fair share of ups and downs over a storied 30 years, and since 2004’s American Idiot took them from Triple M to Broadway, most of those downs have hit in its follow-up releases.
Thankfully, though, Revolution Radio sees the band step back and assess why they haven’t had a hit in so long. It sheds the gimmicks, strips back the pretentious bullshit and presents a band that, for the first time in a long time, just wants to make good music. Cuts like the title track and “Bang Bang” shine with the angsty prowess that made 1994’s Dookie a classic; they’re immediate, merciless and shamelessly fun – a welcomely stark contrast to more serious (yet equally approach- able) tracks like “Still Breathing” and “Somewhere Now”.
Producing the album themselves has given Green Day a new level of youthful freedom, which the trio clasp wholeheartedly. Billie Joe Armstrong is once again a guitarist worthy of his Hall Of Fame induction, finding new ways to experiment three decades on whilst still embracing his signature flair for huge, headbang-able power chords. He and bassist Mike Dirnt reel listeners in with a striking dynamic: they play loose in carefree pit jams “Too Dumb To Die” and “Bouncing Off The Wall”, but they’re downright operatic when it comes to the seven-minute “Forever Now”. Revolution Radio is Green Day’s first LP since American Idiot that feels neither bloated nor empty.
It’s not quite as revolutionary as it maybe would have been ten years ago, but it is a damn fine slab of modern rock music - and at this point, what more could we ask for?