We also do the occasional article now as well dont-ch-ya-know!
appears on American Idiot (2004)
If you’re like me, a self-proclaimed punk connoisseur with a soft spot for some of the more bubblegum stuff, then the journey of Green Day through the 90s to the early 2000s was one of the gold mine standards of infinitely re-listenable songs. From the self-styled, grungy, garage band roots of 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours rolling into the instant classics of Dookie and Nimrod, the band knew how to put together a track. Granted, they only knew three chords, which made life a lot easier.
For the sake of our sanity, we’re going to skip anything after around 2011, because… well, we know where things go from there. But when they were good, they were great and the three-piece/occasionally four-piece from East Bay, California can hardly be blamed for broadening their appeal for commercial success, given that they’ve sold like hot cakes with your money back in the bag for the vast amount of the time they’ve been together. Many punks will tell you that this is decidedly un-punk of them, but you know what else isn’t punk? Being a whiny malingerer, so let’s not let maintaining an image get in the way of a good time.
Back to the band; between 1997-ish and 2003, Green Day were in a bit of a slump. The glory days of Dookie and Insomniac (yes, Insomniac was part of the glory days, shush) were starting to look distant in the rear view and they needed something huge to turn things around. Enter American Idiot, an album that fit a perfectly-shaped hole at a perfect time in the grand scheme of the world that it entered. The whole album was a bolt-from-the-blue home run if you can excuse mixed metaphors, blending rock opera sensibilities with a punk undercurrent that combined to make it both big and bold but retain that sharp cutting edge that kept it relevant for that tumultuous backdrop of post-9/11 American politics when the album released. It sold gangbusters with a capital G and revived the noticeably downward trajectory of the band in the public’s ears, going on to inspire countless other bands and even spawning a musical in the process.
American Idiot as an album was packed with politically-charged anthems like a popular brand of confectionary is packed with nuts and caramel and Holiday is no exception, fitting enough melodic refrains and catchy, three-chord riffs in its runtime to satisfy even the hungriest of ears. That’s why it’s taking up the prime real estate on the Rock Song of the Week mantlepiece for you this time around and will likely get a spot on the fridge when something else comes along next week. Remember, if you’re not getting noise complaints for this one, you’re not trying hard enough.
If you like what you hear, please consider purchasing via Bandcamp if the option is available as this is usually the best way to support the artist.
We don't earn any commissions from any of these posts or links.
We keep the lights on mostly through sponsorship and whatever change we can find down the back of the sofa.
If you like our weekly ramblings though and want to support future content, you can buy us a beer at https://ko-fi.com/rocksongoftheweek