The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Green Day’s “Saviors:” A Recommencement of Protest Music in a Fresh Generation

On their new album, Green Day salutes their signature style of satirizing the country’s sociopolitics at a relevant time in history.
Photo Courtesy / YouTube Green Day

Green Day has never succumbed to the pressures of controversy. Over the past three decades, the pop-punk band has attracted the attention of the masses by putting their angst on display as raw energy and satire without regard or need for approval. In their newest record, “Saviors,” the musicians outline a personal agenda and curate a collection of tracks that reflect a reality that they’re repulsed by: living in the ‘20s.

Released on Jan. 19, “Saviors” stands as Green Day’s fourteenth album. With song titles such as “The American Dream is Killing Me,” it notably serves as an extension of their celebrated album “American Idiot;” the expressive and on occasion outspoken record that poked fun at the sociopolitical climate of the early 21st century.

To Green Day, the atmosphere of the present-day ‘20s bears striking similarities. In an attempt to evoke the era, the band has recommenced protest through politically charged anthems in multiple tracks on “Saviors.” 

With its attention-grabbing title, “The American Dream is Killing Me” is a straight shot at a traditionally praised ideology. Lyrically, the song addresses the harsh truths of modern-day socioeconomic situations; “people on the street,unemployed and obsolete,” while simultaneously engaging in sarcastic banter like, “my country under siege, on private property!” Through sardonic expression, the band criticizes the American Dream in today’s world — one they narrate to be similar to that of a nightmare as opposed to a vision of desired opportunities.  

In the track “Coma City,” listeners are encouraged to put their sensory skills to the test. The sounds — a mix of electric guitar riffs and thudding drums — imitate gunshots that craft the surreal state of the fictional city that is “under smokey skies.” 

The band intends to use imagery to help audience members paint a satirical portrait of a city in a state of chaos and lawlessness, perhaps alluding to the world they fear we’re headed towards. Considering the debate over the possession of firearms which thrives today, us spectators are called to “open our eyes” to the possibility of a destructive world, one they hint can become our reality if we don’t demand societal change. 

Spitting fire at an already existing flame, “Living in the ‘20s” is an anthemic extension of a recurring theme of protesting sociopolitical issues through sarcasm. The lyrics jump from “congratulations” to “condolences” for the masses of citizens who are “all together, and we’re livin’ in the ‘20s.” Even with the dominating nature of spirited satire, anger flies freely in this track as the lyrics are far from subtle but rather, reflect a shout. 

Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong unhesitatingly addresses modern issues of violence in “Living in the ‘20s” through lyrics like “another shooting in the supermarket,” and criticizes the American public’s obsession with consumerism by preaching, “I spent my money on a bloody, soft target.” In his final words on the track, Armstrong repeats the line, “Ain’t that a kick in the head?” confronting society about the troubled state of the country in which they have crafted and consciously dwell. 

As revealed in “Saviors,” Green Day has stayed consistent with the art of timeliness. In the year 2024, the bandmates stand proud of their reflections and assertions as represented in the soundtrack and call on past and present generations to act for socio political reform in the way they know best — through pure, uncut rock and roll.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *