Wreckord Reviews: Green Day set to release their fifth American Idiot remake

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: REPRISE
This busted up burning boom box perfectly represents Green Day's career: outdated, derelict yet somehow still burning.

What’s green, 30-years-old and doesn’t know when to stop making music? The answer is Green Day, and in response to your follow-up question, yes, these guys are somehow still making albums.

For a number of years the group’s music has had a strong political influence and based on the album title, it’s painfully obvious that the upcoming Revolution Radio will be no different. Being political is fine and great, except when you’re only doing it just to sell records.

I say this because the music Green Day is making still sounds like it’s geared to the teenage demographic who they captivated 12 years ago with American Idiot’s narrative on Bush’s America.

Sure, there are some extremely poignant political quips peppered throughout the singles for Revolution Radio, but the lyrics are so often bookended by tongue-in-cheek gibberish that it devalues the underlying message into pop mockery. Lines like “legalize the truth” that are stark and critical have to share the spotlight with shallow pandering like “we are revolution radio” and “sing like a rebel’s lullaby under the stars and stripes”.

Green Day’s message with their latest album is that the revolution can happen, as long as we’re the anthem on everyone’s lips. Track titles like “Bang Bang” and “Revolution Radio” are so drastically ‘inyour- face-rebellious’ that I have to wonder if Green Day is aware that they’re verging on self-parody.

Are these aging rockers simply waiting for the next anti-establishment wave of preteens to come through? Or perhaps are they biding their time until nostalgia eventually draws in their old fan base?

No matter what their end goal is, I can’t see Revolution Radio bringing them any closer to it. The latest singles contain more charisma than their entire Uno!, Dos!, Tre! trilogy, but it’s hard to tell which songs were b-sides from American Idiot and which ones were scrapped together from bits of 21st Century Breakdown.

It’s clear that Green Day is stuck in 2004 and it seems that the only difference in their current repertoire of music is a few references to computers and social media (pandering once again).

Aside from their shameless attempt to connect with today’s youth, there’s one single thing that highlights just how out of touch Green Day really is with what modern listeners want.

This glaring oversight is that they’ve got a boom box on the album cover. When the hell did you last see a boom box being used? I’ve got a boom box in my home and you know what I use it as? I use it as a doorstop.

If the boom box isn’t bad enough, Green Day went a step further and set it on fire before having the photo taken. I can just imagine them sitting around the table brainstorming.

Armstrong says to everyone, “This boom box is cool, but listen we need to let fans aged 12 to 15 know that we’re not just retro-hip, we’re also edgy as hell. Now Tré can you pass the Splenda? My doctor says to ease off of sugar before 10 a.m.”

The group sits there silently in the middle of IHOP, staring at their meager breakfasts of fresh fruit and whole-wheat toast. “I’ve got it,” says Dirnt, leaping out of his seat and catching the scornful eye of the morning manager. “Let’s set it on fire! Kids love setting shit on fire!” Everyone at the table cheers, at a respectful level though because Tré convinced the waitress to put extra grapefruit slices in everyone’s fruit bowls and if they piss her off she might bill them for it.

While my outlook on Green Day’s day-to-day life might be wildly inaccurate, you have to ask yourself how a band attempts to stay relevant whilst replicating an album that’s 12 years old branded by imagery that would have been cliché in the ‘90s.

I will eagerly await the Oct. 7 release of their train wreck, also known as Revolution Radio. Even if the album stands as a discounted rendition of American Idiot at least they’re not collaborating with U2 anymore.