Green Day’s new single “Here Comes the Shock,” released on Feb. 21, 2021, starts with a rapid drumroll, then rolls into exciting high notes until Billie Joe Armstrong begins to sing. This song is classic modern Green Day: high energy, high noise level. Instead of fluctuating between calmer sections and intense choruses, Green Day favors maintaining intensity throughout the whole track. The band has changed their style since their more somber tracks like “Wake Me Up When September Ends'' and “21 Guns'' topped emo playlists back in the mid-2000s. “Here Comes the Shock'' reminds me of their 2016 album “Revolution Radio”—they both share a similar high energy and chatty vocals. Green Day is the antithesis of the club/rap style music that has remained the most popular genre in the United States since Drake sang “Best I Ever Had.” While rap favors beat drops and so many energy fluctuations that it sounds like a human heartbeat, Green Day’s music is like one long beeeeep with no dips, twists, or turns.
“Here Comes the Shock” is chorus-heavy, with Armstrong singing the title repeatedly throughout the track. While the exact definition of “the shock” is never identified, the song alludes to political protest, with stanzas like: “We got the creatures and we got no place to go / We're screaming, "Truth to power" from the barrio / We are the broken records sitting in the sun / Turn up the amplifiers / Gonna do some damage and some damage will be done.” Noting that this song came out in early 2021, this stanza is most likely a reference to the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. Revolutionary and concerned with protest, Green Day’s music is perfect for this moment in history. It gives us energy when our energy is low. Listening to Armstrong sing, I found myself wondering and marveling at the energy he had. Compared to my one-year-into-a-pandemic slump, Green Day seems almost like they are bouncing off the walls.
Personally, I love to dance. I would recommend “Here Comes the Shock” to high-energy dancers everywhere. I don’t recommend this song as a car song, because you may crash—it would be a tad distracting. If you want an addition to your curated playlists, add “Here Comes the Shock” to your rager playlist. Its punk-rock, metal, alternative, garage, and grunge—although the band would probably protest being given any labels or definitions.
There was a time when Green Day nothing short of defined the emo and grunge moment of the 2000s. They were the originals, the very blueprint of musically inclined sadness. I don’t think it is such an extreme statement to say that the emo and grunge movement has come to an end. As the internet increasingly defines our social world, diversity rules and popular movements fizzle into memories as everyone strives to be different or new. Ever since “Revolution Radio,” Green Day has begun to re-define themselves as music ready-made for the revolution. In the title track of that album, Armstrong croons: “Scream, with your hands up in the sky / Like you want to testify / For the life that's been deleted / Sing, like a rebel's lullaby /Under the stars and stripes / For the lost souls that were cheated.” Now that’s rebellion in lyric form. So, if the revolution ever happens, pass me the aux cord.