The punk rock titans Green Day seem to diminish in importance with every release. After the Globe straddling genre defining American Idiot came the almost entirely forgotten second punk opera epic 21st Century Breakdown, then the triptych of Uno!, Dos!, Tre! and their alternative back catalogue. Since then we’ve had Demolicious, Hashtag RevRad with Revolution Radio and the covid smothered Father Of All Motherfuckers continually upsetting the hardcore punks by providing the world with pop rock singles aplenty that it didn’t ask for and definitely isn’t sure it needs. Among the Gods Favorite Band exclusives the Otis Big Guitar Mix, No Fun Mondays and online only singles, the three chords of jangle pop and a bubblegum chorus machine keeps on churning. Me? Oh I’m here for it. Every Green Day release is bought on sight at Casa ForTheDeaf. They’re one of OUR bands.
“Rainy days and razor blades I think it’s time to pull up the shades It’s wonderful to be alive Hurricanes and headlines Standing in another line It’s wonderful to be alive Everything is gonna be alright”
The band that plied their trade in the early days by singing about boredom and ennui through a snot flecked stoner gaze have gone. Green Day 2021 are happy to be here. Happy you’re still here. They’re positive, upbeat and uplifting. I get that nobody thinks that’s cool. I get that power pop feels very “this stuff is for the Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtrack only please”, but someone has to make the pop rock nuggets of the future.
“Share your bread with friends you don’t know Hold the truth and never let go Don’t give up and go with what you know’s for real Que sera and C’est la vie Everyday’s a jubilee It’s wonderful to be alive”
Pollyanna. A slang phrase in the US used to describe a naive person. The origin of such is based on the 1913 children’s book that became a silent movie in 1920 and a Disney movie 40 years later about an orphan who plays the Glad Game to see the positive in everything no matter how hard life gets. Pretty irritating to even think about right? Relentlessly upbeat wears real thin real quick. Try this.
“Open roads and traffic lights You’re the last soul in sight It’s wonderful to be alive Everything is gonna be alright Don’t let em get you down Don’t let em push you around We’re gonna take back the night Everything’s gonna be alright”
Green Day have been the Disney-Land of punk rock (At least) since they appeared as the house band for The Simpsons Movie (remember that?). They’re mega band massive. Untouchably high up on a rarefied air on a plateau with Foo Fighters (the six flags of grunge) , The Rolling Stones (the magic mountain of the 60’s) and Iron Maiden (dare I crowbar in a Hall Of Fame gag? Too soon?). Only bands with their own free map at the gates have that kind of pull when it comes to selling concert tickets. Oh and lest we forget Metallica (the American Iron Maiden?)
With each passing tour the new stuff seems less and less relevant for many. They turn up for the hits from the bands relevant decade. They bring their kids, buy the T-Shirt and come back again next year for a slightly rejigged version of the same set. With AC/DC, Queen and Sabbath all decommissioned as a live prospect we’ve got to get our mega-gig demagogues from somewhere. These package shows like the Hella Mega Tour with Fallout Boy, Weezer and The Interrupters or the 80’s stadium rock one with Def Leppard and Poison once looked like soaring gig ticket price cash-ins before the pandemic. Now they could possibly resemble a ‘last change to see’ opportunity before whatever the next horror show we all have to endure is going to be. In the sweepstakes I got “The seas will boil” and Mrs ForTheDeaf got “Alien invasion”. I’ve secretly got my fingers crossed she wins.
In 2021 after all that we’ve all been through and standing at the edge of a summer where we’re expected to get back out there like nothing ever happened, I’m cautious. This helps. I’m goin’ to Disney Land.