Ritchie Blackmore once said, “You’re either a genius, or a clever thief.” What then are you when you steal from yourself? Barely that — when you knick a riff from Pink? Green Day has nothing left in the tank. Listen to ‘One Eyed Bastard’ and tell me that’s not ‘So What’. “I’m making an offer that you cannot deny,” yells Billie Joe Armstrong, presumably still belted at the hip with silver studs above his teenage legs. “You won’t be laughing when I’m making you cry.” Oh, we can deny it. And if we wince so hard we cry, that’s the closest he comes to aiming the boot. As the song lumbers and slaps its meat around, there is one sensation that can’t be split two ways: Green Day sucks. Again. Barely hilariously.
What’s fascinating about Saviors is how pointless it is. Because look. Late-career bands that sold millions of CDs have the capital to be annoying, awkward or existential. Think of Pearl Jam going new wave or Arctic Monkeys finding their lounge slippers. They’ve earned enough fans and guitars to never make another record you expect them to. It might be interesting. You’re going to sell out arenas anyway. Why not try an oboe? Have your drum machine phase.