100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #59: “Bang Bang” by Green Day

The song at #59 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Bang Bang” by Green Day. The legendary rockers proved their staying power with the 2016 release of their 12th studio album Revolution Radio, 26 years after their first album 39/Smooth in 1990. The album’s hard-hitting first single “Bang Bang” stays true to the band’s penchant for topical themes, with lyrics that speak to America’s culture of gun violence and mass shootings in an era of narcissistic social media: “I want to be a celebrity martyr. The little man in my own private drama. Hurrah (bang bang), hurrah (bang bang) the hero of the hour. Daddy’s little psycho and Mommy’s little soldier.”

The explosive song’s musical high points are Billie Joe Armstrong’s furious guitar riffs, Mike Dirnt’s pummeling bass line and Tré Cool’s awesome galloping drum solo. And Armstrong impassioned vocals sound even more angry and intense than they were on American Idiot. I love it!

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