Best of 2016 Playlist

August 20, 2016

Green Day - "Bang Bang" Single Review

Wait, Green Day's releasing a new album this year too? Wow, talk about the year of pop punk comebacks. Green Day's 12th, yes 12th can you believe it, is set for an October 7 release date. The album's first single, "Bang Bang" was released August 11 

To preorder their upcoming album, "Revolution Radio" and instantly get this single on iTunes click the following (link).

Green Day lost most of what little credibility they had left after their 2012 performance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, where frontman B.J Armstrong had a veritable meltdown. What's worse than a public rant ending with the band smashing their instruments? Releasing 3 consecutive albums that seem like steps backwards for a group that had their shit together before hand(though "Tré" is admittedly the least offensive of the trio). 

So what can you expect from this new single? A callback to the golden age of Green Day's pop punk/punk rock from the 90s. Everything from the loud, gritty guitar to Armstrong's almost screamed vocals is ripped straight from the band's hey-day. This track elevates the band from the scrapheap, and revitalizes their sound. The production echoes 90s, another high point for the band. The entire track is like a war anthem. But it doesn't inspire anarchy, it feels like the band are trying a bit too hard. Green Day trying to be punk rock again. The song is still great, a wonderful listen and a great end of the summer track. Is it Green Day's best? Not by a long shot, but at least it's not another "Oh Love".  

What really earns the song admiration from this camp is the quick tempo and Tré Cool's spot-on drumming. Cool steals the show throughout the entire song. A callback to the band's heyday (circa '94). But the standout moments come during the bridge and outro with Cool's lightning fast fills. He balances his use of toms and snare, while not overusing the cymbals, something far too many pop punk bands do. 

The lyrical themes of the song, and the overall album, are said to deal with the chaos in America. "Bang Bang" specifically deals with social media and mass shooting. Armstrong stated the song lyrics are written from the point of a mass shooter ref. But it's in those lyrics that things start to fall apart. It all feels a bit like a musical collage, some parts sounding like they were written together, other just slapped on to get a rhyme in. The worst of them all, the verse where Armstrong painfully rhymes "photo bomb" with "Vietnam". Talk about forced. 

Summary -
This is the closest thing to classic Green Day one will probably get. Ditching the over produced pop punk from their trilogy of albums back in 2012, the band have done a good job of recapturing their original punk rock sound. A well balanced mixture of old and new, there's something for everyone in this song. Fans of the band's early music will appreciate the punk rock roots and fast paced riff. Fans of the band's more alt. rock oriented music will enjoy the chorus and bridge. They still have some kinks to work out, but this is a good indicator that the band are back on the horse after 2012. 

Rating - 8/10