Thursday, 4 July 2013

No.6 English Idiot

I'm not really what you'd call a punk. I don't own a wardrobe full of black, my clothes are rarely adorned with chains and my hair is neither black nor completely shaved save a three-foot Mohawk which could easily be considered a safety hazard. Not for me or indeed anyone for around twenty years. Punk as a lifestyle as well as a musical genre has been subjected to gross stereotyping in the 21st century with the very word springing the images above into the minds of the public and music aficionados alike. This is wrong. The images set by bands like The Ramones in the 70s and 80s have long been faded out punk culture and all views likening modern day punk fans to those images are vastly outdated. Many groups in more recent years have diversified the punk genre with modern pop-rock and the result: Blink 182, Panic! At The Disco and the like. Oh and one other....

By some distance my favourite group of all time, Green day formed in Oakley; California in 1987 comprising of lead guitarist and vocalist Billie-Joe Armstrong, bassist Mark Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool. I won't bore you anymore with their history with the availability of Wikipedia etc. Instead let me get straight down to the most iconic punk-rock album of the 21st century: American Idiot.

The seventh studio album produced by the band, American Idiot saw Green day really rocket back into the Punk genre limelight since records such as Dookie in the early 1990s topping the charts in 19 countries worldwide and selling almost 5 million copies in the UK alone.
     The album, for me, is more than simply a collection of songs, but it tells the story of the past lives of the band members with "The Jesus of Suburbia" the alter ego to Armstrong mentioned throughout. The rock opera encompasses the adolescent views on society growing up in 70s California while expressing the anti-establishment views more commonly associated with punk groups. Each song has genuine feeling with massive world issues such as Iraq and corrupt governments condemned in every lyric. Believe me, if I was starting an anarchy enthused riot it would be done to "Holiday" or "Jesus of Suburbia" while "Wake me up when September ends" gives justice to Armstrong's father and all other Soldiers fighting to protect the livelihoods of their countrymen. I have seen firsthand their exceptional live performances and ability to create intimacy with stadium-filling crowds so I strongly suggest buying the album first or watch the powerful "Wake me up when September ends" music video.