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The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

Review: Green Day Album Returns To Classic Sound

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Credit: Green Day

With Green Day’s 14th studio album “Saviors,” the band feels reinvigorated, tackling the current political climate and the nostalgia for “better times” with a grin. The album is a return to form after a run of disappointing albums that arguably started with their 2012 trilogy of albums. 

The songs here have a kind of infectious energy that recalls their classic albums “Dookie” and “American Idiot,” celebrating their 30th and 20th anniversaries respectively this year. The classic Green Day formula of catchy melodies and speedy three-chord songs is back in action after 2020’s disappointing “Father of All…” 

On a New Year’s Eve performance this year, they changed a classic “American Idiot” lyric, originally referencing the Bush-era “redneck agenda” to refer to Trump’s “MAGA agenda,” ringing in the New Year with a return to their classic political outspokenness after staying away from politics on the last album. 

Billie Joe Armstrong, the frontman and lyricist of the band, takes a look back at his younger years with songs like “Bobby Sox,” “1981” and “Corvette Summer.” “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” “Strange Days Are Here to Stay” and “Living in the ‘20s” all tackle current issues, both societal and political. “Look Ma, No Brains!” and “One-Eyed Bastard” are classic Green Day punk barnburners. With “Dilemma” and “Father to a Son,” Armstrong opens up his internal thoughts and feelings to everyone. 

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The musical aspects of the album are in top form. Armstrong’s guitar playing has evolved from the simple power chords and single note solos of the past to more complex lines and riffs, even if the intro to “One Eyed Bastard” sounds suspiciously similar to “So What” by P!nk. Mike Dirnt’s basslines pop in the mix here, similar to the classic Green Day albums where he takes a prominent role in the music. Tré Cool keeps the songs going with his propulsive drumming, with an energy that recalls Keith Moon of The Who. 

Green Day appears to have settled into a role similar to Pearl Jam, where both can comfortably fill stadiums but still retain their spirit and drive to continue making great music. The resurgence of pop-punk, with artists like Olivia Rodrigo wearing their 90s influences on their sleeve, could’ve pushed them into the tired nostalgia circuit. However, by embracing that revival, they’ve shocked themselves into a new era. 

“Saviors” is out now on all major streaming platforms. Green Day will visit T-Mobile Park in Seattle for the Saviors Tour on September 23rd, playing their classic albums “American Idiot” and “Dookie” in full. They will be supported by the Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid and the Linda Lindas. 

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About the Contributor
Ethan Barker, ACE Editor
Ethan Barker is the ACE (Arts, Culture and Entertainment) Editor for the Viking Vanguard student newspaper at Puyallup High School. This year, which will be his second with the Vanguard and his junior year of high school, he hopes to improve his interviewing skills and work with the editorial team to investigate issues facing students. He consistently turns out reviews of blockbuster movies and shows, along with feature stories that focus on unique people and places. In addition to these, he enjoys playing guitar, swimming for PHS and his club team and reading the closest book he can get his hands on.

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