There’s never been anything subtle about the politics of Green Day, a band that released its punk-pop screed American Idiot right at the heart of the second Bush era. That “Wake up, dummies” willingness to bash fans over the head with the band’s message is something Billie Joe Armstrong and co. share with John Carpenter’s classic horror-satire They Live, a movie that has many strengths, but subtlety isn’t one of them. It’s fitting, then, that the band would update Carpenter’s film (with a little bit of Pleasantville thrown in) for the Trump era, in a new video released yesterday.
Set to promote the band’s upcoming greatest hits compilation, “Back In The U.S.A.” sounds like a pretty standard modern-era Green Day riff, complete with tongue-in-cheek lyrics about the dangers of suburbia. The video itself is pretty great, though, hitting all the They Live beats as the band’s members discover the monsters lurking in their lives. (Sadly, though, the song doesn’t pause halfway through so Armstrong can spend six minutes beating his bandmates into submission so that they’ll put on the illusion-revealing glasses themselves.)