The old adage ‘less is more’ certainly applies to Revolutionary Radio, the 12th studio album from the veteran Cali punks.
After concept albums (American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown) and their 2012 trilogy (¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! ), Green Day get back to basics on Revolution Radio with a lean set that is chock-a-block with their trademark buzzsaw riffs and punchy power chords. The first single Bang Bang is a thrilling throwback to old skool thrash, while To Dumb To Die and Bouncing Off The Walls are equally razor-sharp slices of adrenalised pop-rock.
Billie Joe Armstrong’s lyrics have lost none of their political edge (on the title track, he sings of riots and “cherry bombs and gasoline”, Say Goodbye is a fiery indictment of police violence), but there is also a rueful new maturity to songs like Somewhere Now (“How did a life on the wild side / Ever get so dull?”) and Still Breathing. Ordinary World, meanwhile, is a gorgeous acoustic ballad that will delight fans of Green Day’s biggest hit Time Of Your Life and brings the album to a lovely, gentle conclusion.
Revolution Radio is the sound of band that is growing old gracefully – but still retaining something of the snotty charm that made us love them in the first place.