A zombie apocalypse and dystopian imagery are at the center of Green Day’s latest release, “The American Dream Is Killing Me.” The raucous track is the lead single from their forthcoming album Saviors which will see the three-piece continuing to keep the ethos of punk rock alive, living up to their assumed title as “God’s favorite band.”
Amid a string of live performances, Green Day debuted “The American Dream Is Killing Me” just before their appearance at the When We Were Young Festival. The anthemic single finds the band expressing their critiques of America’s evolving social landscape in the twenty-first century. Lyrics such as “It’s getting serious / Bulldoze your family home / Now it’s a condo,” point toward the country’s housing crisis. Subsequent lines also make reference to the impact of unemployment and the unavoidable role social media plays in our lives.
In true Green Day fashion, power chords illuminate the track and underscore guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong’s ability to weave together traditional punk sonics and sensibilities. While guitar riffs harken back to American Idiot, the guitar solo shares a likeness to Dookie‘s “Basket Case.” Although the track was one of the last to be recorded, immediately after cutting it, Armstrong knew that it would serve as Savior’s powerful opener. In a statement, he describes the track as “a look at the way the traditional American Dream doesn’t work for a lot of people — in fact, it’s hurting a lot of people.”
For fans who are familiar with the band’s tendency to gravitate toward themes surrounding the corruption of society, the overarching concept of “The American Dream Is Killing Me” will come as no surprise. The band plays into this vision of dystopia in the song’s accompanying monochromatic visual. Zombies gruesomely attack civilians while the band continues to perform onstage unbothered. Likewise, when Armstrong jumps off stage into the crowd of hungry zombies, he remains unscathed as hunters eliminate the surrounding zombies one by one.
Along with “The American Dream Is Killing Me,” Green Day has also teased “Look Ma, No Brains!” as a B-Side. The two tracks alone hint at the new record’s direction which seems to lean toward redefining what a savior looks like in the modern age. “Saviors is an invitation into Green Day’s brain, their collective spirit as a band, and an understanding of friendship, culture and legacy of the last 30 plus years,” the video’s description reads. Additionally, the band worked alongside producer Rob Cavallo for the first time in over 10 years — a collaboration that will no doubt emphasize their signature sound. Green Day’s highly anticipated 14th album is slated to hit streaming platforms on January 19.