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For those of us who grew up in the 90s, or those who have since revisited the outrageously eclectic musical decade, the name Green Day is synonymous with many things; punk, mainstream success, and singles that reflect the world around us in a punk-fuelled, earworm fashion.
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While it may have been almost three decades since the California group’s breakout album Dookie unleashed approaching their latest album release, Green Day have kept their name and trademark style well and truly in the zeitgeist over the many years. 20 Grammy award nominations? Tick. A Broadway musical adapted from one of their albums? Tick. There may have been some contentious conversations at times over the decades about Green Day depending what circles you run and/or listen in, but there’s always also been an unwavering permanence underpinning the band’s every move; and their brand new 2024 album Saviors, #14 for those counting at home, finds Green Day having the time of their lives while also doling out some extremely timely and poignant messaging that is as relevant now as it was back in the 90s.
Opening with the clear-cut stomper The American Dream Is Killing Me, Green Day deliver one of their strongest tracks to date of their recent career, loaded with stomp, lyrical fury and catchy melodics. From its galloping choruses to its Britpop-laced reprieves, The American Dream Is Killing Me leads fearlessly into the uptempo rollicker Look Ma No Brains, grungier territory with the dangerously catchy Bobby Sox (Weezer vibes, anyone?), and some classic throwback Green Day fare fused with classic rock via One Eye Bastard, with the latter offering shifting textures and singalong-ready chants perfectly curated for a live setting.
Saviors, #14 for those counting at home, finds Green Day having the time of their lives while also doling out some extremely timely and poignant messaging that is as relevant now as it was back in the 90s.
Presenting almost like a mixtape for the mad surrounds that have come well before 2024 (and yet still adhere to the present day), Saviors continues through its 15-song track listing with oscillating moments that cover congenitally flippant with serious thematics (Dilemma), moments infused with infectious and nostalgic nihilism (1981), and the swaying punked-up ballad that is Goodnight Adeline for good measure. And alongside all things buoyantly boisterous and dystopian (Coma City), bubblegum bassline-driven odes (Corvette Summer), or wistful yet melodic ditties (Suzie Chapstick), it’s easy to hear the gamut of stylistic nods Green Day have continuously been named and famed for over the years; albeit with their own inescapable twist poking through in fluctuating fashion.
With its 11th track, Strange Days Are Here To Stay, certainly set to tickle the fancy of long-time Green Day fans, both via its opening line “We stumbled down the avenue / Like fairy dust and ballyhoo” as much for its classic Green Day stylings, there’s also some fuzzy modern alternative rock to dive into (Living in the ‘20s). But we also have the true emotional north of Saviors via Father to a Son lying in wait near the tail end of the album; a Britpop-esque heartbreaker that also hits harder for anyone who knows frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s familial history.
In a world that increasingly doubles down on its madness day by day, nostalgia is certainly a hefty drawcard for many, which may offer surface-level appeal to a new Green Day album in 2024 for some. But Saviors is entirely worthy of a visit for new and old fans alike, with an abundance of fun and affable ferocity that’ll simultaneously tap your toe as much as it’ll coat you in a balm of catharsis. Green Day may or may not be your personal saviour, but Saviors is a pretty tantalising life preserver to get you through the bedlam.
STANDOUT TRACKS: The American Dream Is Killing Me, Suzie Corvette, Living in the ‘20s
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Weezer, The Hives, old and new school Green Day
Saviors is out Friday 19 January via Reprise/Warner Records.