Green Day are back. No, seriously, properly. Not Uno Dos Tres back, but properly back, with a properly (quite) good album. They’ve sorted their shit out and created something filled with the catchy, cheesy, full-throttle, all-out, spit in your gran’s face and stick a fresh lump of chuddy in your little sister’s hair energy they are best known for. And I, along with everyone else whose ever been a teenager who regularly slammed their bedroom door in their mum’s face over her not letting you dye your hair bright red with black streaks (still not over it, Caroline), love it.
I mean it. This album is genuinely a good, enjoyable listening experience, almost completely from start to finish. Opener ‘Somewhere Now’ tricks you into thinking it might be a slow-burner, then, in classic Green Day fashion, grabs you by the scruff of the neck and takes you on a riotous rollercoaster of loud guitars, thrashing drums and singalong vocals. Track six, ‘Bouncing Off The Walls’ and ‘Youngblood’ are truly a joy to listen to. Singles ‘Revolution Radio’ and ‘Bang Bang’ are both reminiscent of the Green Day of days gone by, only with a new bite to them. Green Day have somehow managed to master growing old disgracefully without becoming a tired cliché, in contrast to the likes of Blink-182, who lost any “quirky” charm they had when they threw out the fart jokes and just became A Bunch Of Dads Making Bad Music.
Obviously, it’s not perfect. It’s a Green Day album. Expecting a Green Day album with no bad songs is like expecting me to brush my teeth without dribbling all down my sleeve and still finding crusty remnants of Colgate all over my face hours later. Unrealistic. So here are the ones you might want to skip through on your second listen: ‘Ordinary World’- the token Green Day sad ballad, Revolution Radio’s ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’, if you will and ‘Troubled Times’, which just misses the mark by being neither ballad or banger. These come towards the end of the album, thankfully, making it easier to skip through them without feeling like you’re missing out on the full experience that is A Green Day Album.
So, all in all, Revolution Radio is good. Very good, in fact. It’ll make you feel like a teenager, it’ll make you want to dance around your room a bit, it’ll make you turn up the volume on your headphones on the bus, and most of all, it’ll make you happy. Good job Green Day, on being Properly Good again.
Green Day – Revolution Radio = 8/10
Rose Dougall has been pretty busy in recent months, with her part in the mini-supergroup Innerspace Orchestra earlier in the year and now with the release of the title track from what will be her upcoming second album Stellular. Her 2010 debut Without Why is criminally undervalued in the mainstream despite the critical praise it received; with tracks that were infectious and others that were mysterious, it remains a hidden gem. Similarly, her 2013 EP Future Vanishes saw Dougall expand and diversify her sound with indelible hooks and rhythms and this signalled a shift in her sound. This shift leads us to ‘Stellular’. It has that very keen sense of rhythm, but channeled through an Eighties Indie Pop track. Cascading synths take us from the verse to the chorus where Rose’s wistful vocals focus the buoyant sounds around her. It is a shifting and jiving piece of Pop music and as always it’s done with imagination with lyrics of emotional fragility entwined with astronomy. Well worth the wait!
This Weeks Music Video with The Weeknd, Mitski, The Last Shadow Puppets, Rose Elinor Dougall and The Japanese House
A gameshow perfectly sums up Two Door Cinema Club’s relentless career pre-hiatus: a mixture of tension and anxiety in an attempt to find the winning formula that earns them the jackpot. The indie-pop philosophy that spiked Beacon and Tourist History is seemingly a scrapped blueprint, as the Irish trio have swapped clean-cut guitars for nu-disco methodology. Amongst the swirl of synths and fervency of falsettos, TDCC have stepped back into the 80s – a compelling, toe-tapping twist on their previous works, if only it was original.
Despite Gameshow’s time-travelling abilities, modernism surges in certain tracks. In radio-ready lead single and album opener Are We Ready? (Wreck), Trimble unapologetically scratches away at the press – “What will you write about? How did you find that out? You get paid, don’t need any respect.” The band take very real situations and entwine them amongst pop pulsations. With the rise of an all-powerful social network, the pressure to perform alongside damaging comments written about celebrities everyday means these messages have never been more relevant. Bad Decisions also wallows in similar waters – “[I] think I’ve had enough of generation information every station.” The aggravation at the internet kids disguised in club-classic funk appears like a cry for a reversion into the past. The TDCC boys were all born in 1989, so latched onto the end of the pure 80s years (emphasised by closing song’s title Ja Viens De La, which translates as I Come From There). This could suggest the 80s influence in Gameshow is a demand for a revival of youth they experienced away from the snazzy tech.
Instrumentally is where the 80s inspiration comes into its own. In tracks such as Bad Decisions and Fever, Trimble unleashes his inner Barry Gibb, while the punchy bassline of Surgery echoes Bowie circa. Let’s Dance. Invincible’s excruciating lyricism is propped up by a mighty guitar solo that you could definitely hear Freddie Mercury rocking out to. However, this 80s revival isn’t a new fad. Je Viens De La sounds like every Bruno Mars song as of recent, Bad Decisions pinches the electrifying drive of The 1975, and bonus track Sucker – which cuts ties with its eighties-esque neighbours – has an instrumental backing that mirrors the experimental notes of twenty one pilots. It’s an exciting direction for the trio, yet in some ways unambitious; it seems to incorporate contemporary disco efforts that have topped the charts without really adding anything original.
Gone are the days of prospering indie-pop and we return, once again, to an album that shows off the sounds of the eighties. For Two Door Cinema Club, this is potentially an unpredicted direction; one which they’ve executed well, but so have a lot of other people.
Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow: 7/10
By Eleanor Chivers
The Californian Indie duo have release their first track since 2014’s And… Star Power with ‘America’. This new single is a random turn as it is a orchestral and cinematic piece, almost a soundtrack to a mid 1970’s musical. Everything from the swinging brass band behind them, the sweeping strings and the worn electronic chords. It makes little sense in this regard and whether it is going to be part of their fourth studio album… who knows? What we do know is that it will be a very intriguing listen if it’s a sign of things to come.
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