Release Year: 2016
Green Day’s later releases have not been received all that well. Though 21st Century Breakdown was another critical smash, it gained a negative reputation in the fan community. Many critics and fans didn’t care for their 2012 Trilogy, which was ambitious, but flawed. So with the announcement of a new Green Day song, I was kind of underwhelmed. Yes, I was excited for new Green Day music, but I’ve been disappointed in the past. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high. When “Bang Bang” dropped, I shut my fucking mouth and rocked on.
Let me just say: the song is awesome. It begins with a sweet bass riff from Mike Dirnt that chugs along, implying the danger that’s about to happen. The guitar lulls underneath it, leaving listeners anticipating the moment when everything’s unleashed. From there, the music explodes in a mass of frantic guitars and pounding drums. Though the riff sounds like “St. Jimmy” in parts, it still has an aggressive edge to it that denotes the song is about to kick ass. It’s loud and in your face, which is what the band does best. Things slow down a bit for the bridge; the music plays with tension – the air of danger comes back in. It’s not long til everything explodes again and chaos ensues.
The lyrics are some of Billie’s best. Rather than revisiting days of youth, he focuses on the here and now. Taken from the perspective of a mass shooter, the lyrics talk about finding fame through means of violence, which America has many. It’s not as catchy as some of their other hooks, but it’s so satisfying. The song has cheeky lines like “give me death or give me head” and “daddy’s little psycho and mommy’s little soldier.” And the way Billie spits out “Bang bang!” during the hook is so deliciously on edge. There are some fun “hurrahs” thrown in and Billie lets out the most vicious scream during the bridge when he sings “World war zero!” It’s like the band are determined to kick ass and speak up once again.
It’s fiery, energetic as hell, and gets your heart pumping for more. It has the snotty attitude of old school Green Day mixed with the ambition of the later era, giving us the best of both worlds. And it is awesome. The last time I was this excited about new Green Day was “Know Your Enemy” and “Bang Bang” is ten times better than that. This is a song that makes you excited for the new album and what this next era of Green Day has in store. If the rest of the songs on Revolution Radio are as good or better than this one, it could be their next huge album.