United States of what­ever

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - LAU­REN MUR­PHY

When a band has been around for three decades, it is bound to have a few misses among the many hits. Green Day are the first to ad­mit that their tril­ogy of al­bums re­leased in 2012 (the imag­i­na­tively-ti­tled Uno, Dos and Tre) were, in Bil­lie Joe Arm­strong’s words, their “at­tempt to be pro­lific for the sake of it”; in ours, they were flabby, self-in­dul­gent af­fairs.

This time, the Cal­i­for­nian punk-rock­ers have an agenda – of sorts. As the ti­tle of their 12th stu­dio al­bum sug­gests, many of these songs tackle the cur­rent state of the tu­mul­tuous world and the vi­o­lence of their home coun­try; the thrashy, fran­tic Bang Bang is told from the per­spec­tive of a mass shooter, while Trou­bled Times asks “What part of his­tory have we learned when it’s re­peated?” Oth­ers, like the self-cel­e­bra­tory Still Breath­ing and For­ever Now, adopt a more per­sonal nar­ra­tive – an un­sur­pris­ing de­vel­op­ment given Arm­strong’s stint in re­hab for pre­scrip­tion painkiller ad­dic­tion.

It’s never been just about the lyric sheet with Green Day. The mid-fortysome­things have plenty of fire­power left in their can­nons with the punchy, en­er­getic riffs of the ti­tle track, the con­sid­ered pop-punk of Bounc­ing Off the Wall and the surg­ing an­themic cho­rus of Out­laws.

Still, you can’t help but feel that their valiant at­tempt at mak­ing a po­lit­i­cal state­ment falls some­what flat by re­cy­cling the same mu­si­cal tropes that they’ve ped­dled their en­tire ca­reer. They may have have twisted the dial a lit­tle, but at the end of the day, Revo­lu­tion Ra­dio sounds like just an­other Green Day al­bum. green­day.com


Revo­lu­tion Ra­dio ★★★


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