“Know Your Enemy” by Green Day

14 09 2013

By all rights, I shouldn’t like this song. It’s arena rock. Its stops and starts are almost scientifically calculated for maximum effect. The lyrics aren’t particularly interesting. But, damn, it’s catchy. That guitar sound is irresistible.

Green Day have been around forever, so you probably know as much about them as I do. They formed in the late 1980s, and were a mainstay of the San Francisco Bay Area punk scene. Their early history is documented in the book Gimme Something Better, which talks about that scene; for the most part, the people interviewed for the book speak well of Green Day despite their enormous success, saying that the band has stayed about as true to their ethics as is possible in that situation. At the very least, they aren’t playing adult-oriented contemporary rock.

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