Acoustic Sounds

Green Day




Green Day "Saviors"

Label: Warner/Reprise

Produced By: Rob Cavallo and Green Day

Engineered By: Chris Dugan, Duncan Fuller, Scott Moore, Jacob Spitzer, Butch Walker, and Mark Aguilar

Mixed By: Chris Lord-Alge and Brian Judd

Mastered By: Ted Jensen (Sterling Sound)

Lacquers Cut By: Joe Nino-Hernes (Sterling Sound)

By: Dylan Peggin

January 19th, 2024


Rock Punk



Green Day’s “Saviors” - A Textbook for the 2020s

A return to form and their most mature record

Sub-genres aside, Green Day can be considered one of the elder statesmen of punk. The Bay Area punk rockers have been in the game for 35 years and are marginally responsible for bringing the DIY aesthetics of punk into the mainstream forefront. Albums like Dookie, Insomniac, and Nimrod established Green Day’s unique sound of power chords, melodic vocals, and fast tempos. Instead of the group growing with only its core audience, they crossed a musical threshold with the politically infused punk rock operas American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. The success of these specific albums gave Green Day a second lease on life, crossing a threshold with a new generation of fans. 

Despite their beloved stature, over the past decade Green Day’s catalog has been hit or miss. Instead of making one solid album, the triple album trilogy of Uno, Dos, and Tre in 2012 was a shallow exercise in prolificity. 2016’s Revolution Radio managed to pick up the speed, but the promising streak halted at Father of All Motherf*****s in 2020. The album was a regression, with the band embracing the sound of garage rock, a genre they had no business tapping into. Could it have been a shallow contractual obligation since Green Day was parting ways with Warner/Reprise? It will most likely go down as a part of their history they’ll fight tooth and nail to forget about since no songs lasted in the live set. On a brighter note, renegotiated contracts enabled the band to remain on the roster with the release of their newest album, Saviors. After a head-scratching detour with their previous album, Green Day finally got it together with an album that resembles a solid return to form.

The opening track, “The American Dream is Killing Me,” flaunts Green Day’s compositional craftsmanship with an anthemic pre-chorus and an unexpected orchestral break in the bridge. “Look Ma, No Brains!,” “1981,” and “Strange Days Are Here to Stay” are prime examples of the group's signature sound due to their franticity and exceptional harmonies from Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt. The uplifting chord sequence of “Bobby Sox” juxtaposes one of Billie Joe’s edgiest vocal deliveries during the chorus. Between the main descending riff and “badda-bing-badda-boom” gang vocal hook, “One Eyed Bastard” is a song with an undeniable element of swagger. “Dilemma” and its drop D tuning offers plenty of grit. The syncopated chorus of “Goodnight Adeline” is reminiscent of the one found on Green Day's 2009 gem, "21 Guns."

Flipping the album over to Side 2, one cannot help but sit at the edge of his or her seat listening to the intensifying guitar leads of “Coma City” as it progresses to a phasing climax. Tre Cool’s extra percussion flourishes of cowbell and tambourine are nice touches to the classic rock-sounding “Corvette Summer” and “Living in the 20s.” The toned-down melodic tendencies of “Suzie Chapstick” are best described in a mere two words: ear candy. Saviors’ breath catcher is “Father to a Son,” a touching acoustic ballad with a glorious orchestral arrangement. The title track is a mid-paced driver with Billie Joe’s trademark megaphoned vocals. “Fancy Sauce” winds the album down in a swaying fashion.

Billie Joe Armstrong was 20 years old when he faced the impending doom of early adulthood in his earlier work. Saviors’ lyrical content resembles that person at 50 with the same amount of angst as before. Mentions of mental illness, mass shootings, the polarizing effects of the media, the fentanyl crisis, and addiction paint a bleak picture of living in modern-day America. That same sense of hopelessness 30 years prior still finds itself in “Look Ma, No Brains!” There is a plea for simplicity in “Corvette Summer,” where all the protagonist wants is his records to make the pain disappear. On a lighter note, tracks like “The American Dream is Killing Me” and “Suzie Chapstick” can only exist as products of the 21st century, with respective mentions of social media conglomerates TikTok and Instagram. The lyrics of Saviors are bound to be adaptable to a textbook in 30 years, and it will show future generations all they need to know about what went on in the 2020s.

The front cover of Saviors features a manipulated photo of a youthful stone-throwing Paul Kennedy during the Troubles in Ireland. Polaroid portraits of each of the band members don the back cover jacket. Instead of utilizing printed inner sleeves or inserts, Saviors includes a double-sided poster of band photos and lyrics, an old-school return to one of my favorite facets of old-school vinyl packaging. With all the money WMG has to generate so many collectible colored vinyl variants, one would think they’d use poly-lined inner sleeves at the bare minimum instead of paper; they’ll never learn!  Nonetheless, the indie exclusive pink/black split-colored vinyl perfectly fits the color scheme of the album artwork. 

The vinyl pressing of Saviors is a missed opportunity for the music to shine at its deserved itensity. Green Day’s albums are generally well recorded and sound huge, so it is not due to Sterling Sound’s Ted Jensen or Joe Nino-Hernes. Cramming 7-8 songs on a given side of vinyl in this day and age is inexcusable. Double albums are almost accepted to be the norm for most vinyl pressings of modern artists’ new albums. The moments when my speakers should’ve exploded with sound instead sounded congested. Songs with more intricate arrangements, such as “Father to a Son,” have lost nuances. Spreading the album across three sides with a gimmicky fourth side etching would’ve sufficed.

With 15 tracks clocking in at 46 minutes, Saviors offers a lot to feast your ears on. The rapid-fire speed of how fast the songs come and go harks back to the flow of albums like Kerplunk and Dookie. However, the songs’ compositional strengths lie in the maturities Green Day discovered on American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, minus the confinements of sticking to a punk rock opera narrative formula. Saviors manages to ride comfortably in the middle, making it an album for fans on both ends of the spectrum to enjoy.

Green Day

Music Specifications

Catalog No: 093624866183

Pressing Plant: GZ Vinyl

Weight: 180 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Presentation: Single LP


  • 2024-01-19 06:27:14 PM

    Lemon Curry wrote:

    At 46 min, 23 min a side shouldn't have been the end of the world. This is essentially Beatles Abbey Road LP running time. Looking at the DR Database, the CD of Saviors comes in at a super flat DR5. But.. the atmos version is allegedly a lively DR13. I suspect the vinyl is somewhere in-between. Which I agree if true is a lost opportunity for the vinyl. This wouldn't be the first time lately that I've seen the digital atmos mix ending up as the home of dynamics, rather than vinyl.

    • 2024-01-19 09:12:20 PM

      Malachi Lui wrote:

      lots of those atmos mixes are assembly-line jobs done on systems of... let's say 'questionable' calibration. it's VERY easy to fuck up an atmos mix--just inflate the 'size' knob and it can get really unlistenable really fast.

      i haven't yet listened to 'saviors' but i'll listen to the more dynamically compressed hi-res stereo stream when i get to it. my main point is that the measurements of the atmos mix barely mean anything when so many of them sound bad.

      • 2024-01-20 03:07:18 PM

        bwb wrote:

        I am curious to find out what Atmos playback system you are using to come to this conclusion .... perhaps your profile needs updating, but all I see is a $250 pair of bookshelf speakers and stereo sources.

        • 2024-01-20 08:44:37 PM

          Malachi Lui wrote:

          i listen to atmos mixes binaurally. all the 'spatial audio' atmos stuff on apple music is actually just the binaural renderings. even if you've got a 7.1.4 atmos system, i'm not sure what you hear on apple will play back properly on all the speakers. there's also difference in the binaural channel timing compared to the timing on an atmos speaker setup.

          and those $250 ELAC speakers are amazing! will i eventually get a higher end set of speakers? of course, eventually. but the balance is pretty neutral and a good recording sounds hyperrealistic. that's all i need to do my job, really.

          • 2024-01-20 10:36:12 PM

            bwb wrote:

            Speakers aside, I'm not sure it is fair to judge any Atmos mix based on what comes through on Apple spatial audio. Along with your uncertainty about how it plays back on a true multichannel system is what I consider a major issue with Atmos. Supposedly any Atmos playback system from 2 channel on up to 7.1.4 and beyond can "properly" decode the mix. I just don't see how it is possible for the guy doing the mixing to optimize it for everything from 2 channel , soundbars, headphones, earbuds, and 7.1.4 +. Most of the BluRays I have that are TrueHD on my 9.1.6 system sound incredible. They are uncompressed unlike the Apple Atmos streams that are compressed, and of course there is no telling what Apple is up to.

            If interested here's a discussion on 2 channel Atmos with a lot of confusion, assumptions, and inaccuracies. .. ..

            • 2024-01-21 11:32:58 AM

              JuzDisGuy wrote:

              Atmos, lol. You AV guys will never learn. New name, same lame game. But I’m sure your friends are impressed at all those speakers, especially the goofy ones on top pointing at the ceiling.

              • 2024-01-21 12:53:21 PM

                bwb wrote:

                Same sentiment from many in the late 50's when stereo came out. Most often stated by people who had never heard a proper stereo set up. Just like I'm betting you have never heard a proper Atmos mix on proper Atmos system.

                Atmos is significantly different than anything that came before it. You statement "same lame game" speaks volumes about how little you know about it.

                BTW I don't have any speakers pointing at the ceiling... I suppose ignorance is indeed bliss

                • 2024-01-21 01:02:01 PM

                  JuzDisGuy wrote:

                  I’ve heard Atmos, and call me unimpressed, just like its precursors, 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, etc, etc. each generation has come with the same hype - this time it’s a whole different technology. To each their own, it’s your $ at the end of the day. Let me just say though, that for the cost of 9.1 ++ speakers, I get two fantastic speakers that will blow your surround sound silliness away. Atmos may be cool for movies, but music is not intended to be coming at you from every direction.

                  • 2024-01-21 01:54:30 PM

                    bwb wrote:

                    "music is not intended to be coming at you from every direction"

                    Don't think I've ever heard a statement that was more incorrect.. All live music , unless you are in anechoic chamber, absolutely comes at you from all directions.

                    and having heard Atmos and having it heard when it was done properly are not necessarily the same thing,,,, in most cases they are not

                    • 2024-01-21 04:56:08 PM

                      Silk Dome Mid wrote:

                      Yeah, that one cracked me up. All music heard in any room, live or recorded, has a substantial amount of reflected sound.

                • 2024-01-22 02:12:00 PM

                  Michael Fremer wrote:

                  I've heard it a few times at the Dolby Theater in New York City. I heard Beatles and "Pet Sounds". Oh, and I heard an Elton John track at an audio show that a reviewer for my previous endeavor absolutely loved. The ones at the Dolby Theater sounded like movie soundtracks. I remember hearing "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and thinking "there's a T-Rex Brian Wilson running to attack me". The Elton John track took apart and spread a very nice stereo mix and produced an unpleasant spatial discontinuity, plus the sterility of the whole thing (not at Atmos issue) reduced it to a carnival side show. Just my opinion....

                  • 2024-01-22 02:33:23 PM

                    bwb wrote:

                    fair enough, but the problem with demos is they are often trying to draw attention to the WOW factor. Like a subwoofer demo where all you can focus on is the deep bass because that's what they want you to hear.

                    Instead of Atmos the demos would be better served if thought in terms of immersive sound. Where you are in the soundfield but the demo isn't trying to impress you with objects moving around the room.

                    Done well it is truly immersive. Done poorly it is indeed a carnival side show.

            • 2024-01-21 01:26:42 PM

              Malachi Lui wrote:

              is it fair to definitively judge any atmos mix based on (lossy) apple spatial audio? not exactly, but so few of these atmos mixes are released on true HD blu-ray in a full lossless codec. for instance, this green day album is not on an atmos blu-ray disc. thus, we're left to interpret based on the available sources and whatever setups we have.

              • 2024-01-21 01:55:25 PM

                bwb wrote:

                very true. The catalog of True HD is growing but still very limited

                • 2024-02-01 05:07:20 PM

                  Bill Houston wrote:

                  Huge fan of the SDE and the Quadio line of spatial audio releases. I would also agree that the Apple Spatial Audio series is more of an appetizer to what surround can do and not a primary reference. For those curious, I would recommend the Pink Floyd 5.1 sacds, Air "10,000 HZ Legend" blu ray, Beck "Sea Change", Bjork "Vespertine". For some of these releases (Pink Floyd), the quad tapes are in much better shape than their stereo counterparts.

  • 2024-01-21 06:29:59 PM

    Lemon Curry wrote:

    We've kinda degenerated into a spatial audio yea/nay thing here, so I just want to reiterate my original point... Someone created an "atmos downmix" of Saviors and posted their foobar DR analysis on the DR database. DR13 is a VERY dynamic result for an album that is DR5 on CD. Question #1 is: what does the atmos sound like? Is it really that dynamic? Question #2 is: where does the vinyl stand, dynamically? The reviewer here thought it sounded flat at key moments. Generally, we like to see dynamic vinyl, compared to the crushed CD. Question #3 is: what is more dynamic, vinyl or atmos?

  • 2024-01-23 03:53:28 PM

    Jim Shue wrote:

    Green Day is to punk as Taco Bell is to real Mexican food. This album is just a bad sounding fetid stew of anti American blurts and feeble wanking. Will these losers move to Canada when Trump wins? They can join Barbara Streisand LOL!

    • 2024-01-23 08:16:26 PM

      Noel Tiplady wrote:

      I totally agree. Green Day should now be called Over Ripe Day.

    • 2024-01-24 07:07:12 PM

      Anton wrote:

      They are certainly no Ted Nugent level talent.

      • 2024-01-25 08:05:15 PM

        Jim Shue wrote:

        Nugent is decades older and could still kick their Taco Bell asses. :-)

    • 2024-01-26 01:12:51 AM

      Malachi Lui wrote:

      personally, i'm not a green day fan but 'warning' is a seriously great and massively underrated record.

    • 2024-01-26 08:01:41 AM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      If Trump wins not when. And if he does I will be leaving.

      • 2024-01-26 01:29:01 PM

        Jim Shue wrote:

        I'm sure Castro Trudeau will take you in with open arms.

  • 2024-01-24 05:23:35 PM

    Marshall Gooch wrote:

    Two things: While “prolificity” may be a word, “franticity” isn’t. Also, a 46 minute vinyl 12” is not too long - if the record sounds bad to you it’s not groove-cramming, it’s either the recording or the mastering. For instance, is it brick walled? That might explain it…

    • 2024-01-24 07:15:25 PM

      Silk Dome Mid wrote:

      I agree with you about "franticity", but it may be on the way to becoming a real word. It's in the "Urban Dictionary". Hardy har har.

  • 2024-01-27 12:45:51 AM

    Willie Luncheonette wrote:

    From someone who bought their first two albums when they were released, IMO they have been playing, for the most part, excellent melodic punk music for 34! years now. That deserves some praise. Only Bad Religion and UK Subs come to mind with longer punk careers still going strong and dropping LP's. GD is the biggest selling punk band of all time and is a gateway to countless kids discovering this wonderful genre. Serious props to them!

  • 2024-01-27 02:22:10 PM

    Silk Dome Mid wrote:

    If you dislike the music on "Saviors", fine. When it comes to music, everyone has an opinion. If you dislike it because of your political beliefs, you're an idiot. Probably an American one.

  • 2024-01-30 04:20:03 AM

    MrGneiss wrote:

    Finally got to listen to this record tonight.. Great new record, sounded good to me!! :-D