Green Day
Music, Reviews

‘Saviors’ Review: Green Day Delivers Powerful, Pulsating Punk in Latest Album

2024 is the year of rock.

If there’s one thing punk outfit Green Day has been doing since 1986, it’s delivering in-your-face guitar licks and punchy political commentary. With their latest offering, Saviors, which marks the band’s 14th studio album, the power trio consisting of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool shows no signs of slowing down.

Saviors is a welcome spiritual successor to 2004’s critically lauded American Idiot — and that’s a good thing.

There’s something to be said about a long-running band that can sink comfortably into its identity. Green Day isn’t trying to conform to the times (that’s the anti-establishment way) with their sound; they know who they are. Punk is alive and thriving in the band’s capable hands.

Green Day Saviors
Cover art by Chris Steele-Perkins

Green Day settles into this new chapter as middle-aged rockers with all the vitality and spunk of their earlier work. Saviors doesn’t shy away from satirizing the current zeitgeist and societal landscape. Even as the world changes in more ways than one, the band’s sound remains a dependable constant. That’s evident with this album.

“The American Dream Is Killing Me” kicks off Saviors‘ 15 relatively short tracks with catchy, vigorous guitar hooks punctuated by Dirnt’s thumping bass and Cool’s deft drumming. This particular tune certainly feels like one you’d find on American Idiot, and that familiarity sets the tone for what’s to come.

“Look Ma, No Brains!” draws parallels to Dookie‘s “Basket Case” but veers away enough so it’s not a carbon copy of the latter. It’s a playful, tongue-in-cheek song about being paranoid and losing one’s mind.

“Bobby Sox” is a yearning, harder track that speaks to the relatability of establishing fledgling relationships, no matter your age. Armstrong shows off his pipes as the chorus kicks in, the heavier guitars perfectly complementing his rough-around-the-edges voice.

One of the strongest songs on Saviors is “Father to a Son,” lyrically and musically. It’s a solid continuation of “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” which is about Armstrong’s father passing away when he was 10.

“Father to a Son” delivers a heaping helping of tenderness as Armstrong reflects on his late father and his role as a dad to two sons. It also feels the most musically structured compared to the other tracks, as it slowly builds from the contemplative, quiet beginning and crescendoes to orchestral euphoria.

“Living in the ’20s” is a bold commentary on our current decade, complete with the swift gut punch of this opening line: “Another shooting in a supermarket.” There’s even a remark about murder hornets (if you’re willing to relive that part of COVID). The track is a boisterous, vibrant, and toe-tapping affair that throws in a head-banging guitar solo and more of Armstrong’s piercing growls.

“One Eyed Bastard” is another fun, heavy track that’ll make you feel like you’re the coolest kid on the block. It’s more of Green Day’s signature sound that’s been a staple of punk for over three decades. You’ll undoubtedly have “bada bing, bada bing, bada boom” stuck in your head on a loop.

Overall, Saviors is Green Day’s best work in years. Every track is an earworm that gets better with each listen. It’s the perfect album to crank up at full volume and dance to in your kitchen. You can even buck the system while you’re at it.

Saviors is available on all streaming platforms.

Featured image photo credit: Alice Baxley 

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