The striking (photoshopped) image on the band's upcoming 14th album seems to indicate that the band will rekindle with their politically-charged 'American Idiot' days... But is the image in poor taste?
American punk-pop band Green Day have announced their 14th studio album, ‘Saviors’, with a new video for their single ‘The American Dream Is Killing Me’.
Posting about the album on social media, a statement reveals:
“Saviors is an invitation into Green Day’s brain, their collective spirit as a band, and an understanding of friendship, culture and legacy of the last 30 plus years. It’s raw and emotional. Funny and disturbing. It’s a laugh at the pain, weep in the happiness kind of record.
Honesty and vulnerability. What is Saviors about, you ask?
Power pop, punk, rock, indie triumph. disease, war, inequality, influencers, yoga retreats, alt right, dating apps, masks, MENTAL HEALTH, climate change, oligarchs, social media division, free weed, fentanyl, fragility,,..
What would Andy Warhol do? What would John Waters do? What would Quentin Tarantino do? What would GREEN DAY do?”
Quite the menu...
Of note is the album’s cover, which features an image of a riot in west Belfast during the Troubles, which cost the lives of more than 3,700 people and injured approximately 47,500 people.
The picture of a young boy holding a rock during 1978 riot at the top of Leeson Street was taken by photographer Chris Steele-Perkins, who visited Northern Ireland in the late 70s. His images have been collated into a book named “The Troubles”.
Steele-Perkins, now aged 76, remains a member of Magnum Photos agency.
The striking photoshopped image seems to have impressed Green Day fans so far – but not one Reddit user, who said that it was an example of "wealthy comfortable Americans using gritty imagery of civil strife to show how edgy [they are]".
A fair assessment, and also a rather gauche indication that the band are trying to rekindle the same energy and politically-charged verve heard on their 2004 album ‘American Idiot’, a “punk rock opera” that was something of a career comeback for the band.
‘American Idiot’ was inspired by contemporary American political events at the time – especially 9/11, the presidency of George W. Bush, and the Iraq War. It won the Award for Best Rock Album at the 2005 Grammy Awards and its huge commercial and critical success inspired a Broadway musical, a documentary, and a planned feature film adaptation.
It was followed by the decent '21st Century Breakdown' in 2009, but then came a string of middling-to-dire releases, including the messy triptych '¡Uno!', '¡Dos!', '¡Tré!' in 2012, 'Revolution Radio' (2016), and one of the worst albums of 2020 (and the band's career), ‘Father of All Motherfuckers’.
Here’s hoping that ‘Saviors’ will redeem their recent output, and that the fact it is released on the 30th anniversary of ‘Dookie’ is a good omen.
Due out on 19 January 2024, it is co-produced by Rob Cavallo, who worked with the band on their celebrated albums ‘Dookie’ (1994) and ‘American Idiot’ (2004). That bodes well.
Here’s the video for ‘The American Dream Is Killing Me’, directed by Brendan Walter and Ryan Baxley – which sees the band dealing with a zombie apocalypse:
In other Green Day news, the band recently announced details of a US headline tour, set to kick off next year and feature support from The Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid and The Linda Lindas.
They have teased UK and EU dates, which will be announced at a later date.