Will Green Day Be Our Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘Saviors’

Green Day - photo credit Alice Baxley.

Green Day has always been a part of my musical landscape. I fondly remember receiving their landmark albums “Dookie” in 1994 and “Insomniac” in 1995, as a kid, along with other bands that have stayed with me for over three decades.

Green Day offered a more flippant and ironic edge, unlike the classic rock of Aerosmith, Tom Petty and Led Zeppelin or the grunge of Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Their bored and angsty power chords resonated with me deeply. I recall a Green Day poster in my room featuring Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool, who back then had only a few visible tattoos.

By the release of “Nimrod” in 1997, I was a full-fledged Green Day fan. The album’s progressive sound with tracks like “Hitchin’ a Ride” and the acoustic “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” appealed to me.

I was always a fan of acoustic Green Day – especially “All by Myself,” the secret song from “Dookie,” was among the first I learned on the guitar. However, “Good Riddance” quickly became overplayed, and I found myself growing distant from it.

Green Day - Saviors

As my tastes shifted towards bands like Pennywise and NOFX, Green Day became a memory of my elementary school days. But now, like surfing and skateboarding, they’ve re-entered my life with their latest album, “Saviors,” released Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, via Reprise Records.

“Saviors,” Green Day’s 14th album, reunites them with producer Rob Cavallo. The album’s opening track, “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” encapsulates classic Green Day with its satirical social commentary.

Songs like “Look Ma, No Brains!” showcase a more polished production while maintaining their core sound.

Bobby Sox” is one of my favorite songs on the album,” said Armstrong in a release. “It’s the Nineties song that we never wrote. It started out being a song I wrote for my wife but as it materialized, I wanted to switch it up and added, ‘Do you wanna be my boyfriend?’ on top of ‘Do you wanna be girlfriend’… So the song becomes a kind of universal anthem.”

The raw yet refined guitar work in “One-Eyed Bastard” demonstrates Armstrong’s growth as a musician. The album surprises with its variety, from “Coma City‘s” Gaslight Anthem vibe to “Corvette Summer‘s” return to their ’90s sound.

Strange Days Are Here to Stay” reaffirms that Green Day, despite its years, still retains its youthful vigor. The album boldly addresses social issues like homelessness and gun violence, particularly in the track “Living In The ’20s,” with a genuine sense of anger and frustration.

“Saviors” is a return to Green Day’s ’90s songwriting excellence, enhanced by superior production, for over 45 minutes.

The band’s upcoming tour with The Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid, and The Linda Lindas is not to be missed.

See them Monday, Aug. 5 at Citi Field in New York City, Aug. 9 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Aug. 10 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Get “Saviors” from Green Day, Bandcamp, Amazon, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and qobuz.