Music News

Green Day's Second Politically Charged Single Lacks Bite

See also: Green Day's New Song "Epic as Fuck?" Not Even Close. See also: Throwback Thursday: Green Day's Dookie

Last week at a live show in Los Angeles, Green Day revealed another three power punk tracks from their upcoming album, ¡UNO!: "Nuclear Family," "Wild One," and most importantly, "Kill The DJ," which is their second single.

Back in June, the band told Rolling Stone they were "trying to figure out how to make dance music without turning into a dance band" and it sounds like they've succeeded. Nothing about this single makes me want to dance, but it doesn't make me cringe, either, so there's that.

I'm hoping against hope that no one will remix this into a shitty dubstep track the way Gotye or Foster the People have been messed with. It would be ironic, however, given the violent ultimatums thrown out against anonymous disc jockey. It seems frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is making a statement about the many bands that are crossing into drum and bass electronic music. These days, everyone from Britney Spears to Muse to Rihanna to Korn have gone dubstep, and elements of the EDM genre have been used in commercials for Audi, Best Buy, and Buick, among many others (wobble wobble, buy a car).

Like punk rockers of the '70s railed against disco, arena rock and heavy metal, it follows that pop punk outfits like Green Day would denounce popular music styles today. So kudos to Armstrong and co. for sticking to their guns, but part of me believes this crusade will have all the bite of "Death of Auto-Tune." Similarly, Jay-Z wrote his track after hearing the pitch correction technology used in a Wendy's commercial and because he felt what had become a trend was now a gimmick.

But the real gimmick is Armstrong's political convictions he keeps trying to push into his music. "Onward Christian soldiers / filled with jiving mind control," Armstrong spits on "Kill The DJ". Oh, congratulations, someone's read Christopher Hitchens.

The bullshit really piled up when Armstrong told Rolling Stone the song was about how "this government cannot, will not, agree with itself. They refuse to make it work. Right, left - it doesn't matter. It blows your mind and pisses you off. It's a song about being drunk, going through this chaos, feeling fucked up and all you want to do is get more drunk..."

"Kill The DJ" is far a stronger effort than "Oh, Love" and thankfully isn't overblown with laptop engineering, but it doesn't have the political or even social bite Green Day might have been hoping for. It's a mildly catchy four-on-the-floor track, and for now, we'll take it.

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Troy Farah is an independent journalist and documentary field producer. He has worked with VICE, Fusion, LA Weekly, Golf Digest, BNN, Tucson Weekly, and Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Troy Farah