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Good Charlotte have returned with a new album announcement and the LP’s first single, making all our pre-teen punk rock dreams come true.
The band has been teasing new music for a while now, and they’ve finally dropped a new, full-length track. “Actual Pain” is the lead single off their upcoming record Generation Rx, which is set to be released September 14. Listen to the new single below.
“Actual Pain” an anthem of hope that is both raw and relatable and sees the band return to their early, emo roots with heavy musicality and emotional lyrics. The song takes an closer look at the pain inside with lyrics like, “Tell me why I hurt this way / Should I even love you anymore? / All this pain I feel is tearing me apart.” The new tune is much more atmospheric and anthemic than their most recent albums, shifting away from their trademark pop-punk sounds for what they do best: speaking directly to the youth.
The new song came to be after the band performed at a memorial service for emo-rap artist and GC superfan Lil Peep, who died of an overdose on fentanyl and Xanax last November. The new song’s message is that you can get through the pain, survive it, and have the life you want.
Both Tom Petty and Prince died from opioid overdoses in recent years, while Kanye West and Meek Mill have admitted to struggling with opioid addiction. According to Rolling Stone, the epidemic has inspired the name of Good Charlotte’s new album and is a major theme in the material.
“Our generation was the first to have so many ways to deal with pain,” said Joel and Benji Madden in a statement. “Throughout this century, we’ve seen the whole opioid crisis get worse. We wondered if we were really doing our part. We wanted to bet back out there on the battlefield and spread insight, share experience, and give anything we could to improve lives… We made the record on our own terms and our own time. In that respect, we channelled the soul of our first two albums.”
— Good Charlotte (@GoodCharlotte) May 25, 2018
Generation Rx will serve as the Maryland rockers’ seventh studio album following 2016’s Youth Authority, which saw hits like “Makeshift Love” and “40 oz. Dream,” but their earlier albums have always been standouts. Other than teaching us that girls don’t like boys (they like cars and money), GC also gave us a number of angsty songs that perfectly embodied how alternative we were at the age of 12. The most notable being 2002’s “The Anthem.”
Commenting on the new album to Rolling Stone, the band said they were at their best when they “were unconscious and naive kids, who didn’t know it wasn’t cool to try hard or make new friends… The wisdom that time gives you also comes with baggage and we’ve been searching for the door back in to that vulnerability, honesty and hopeful outlook that seems to only exist in innocence for a good 15 years. Generation Rx feels to us like we finally found our way back to that place.”
Following the fall release of Generation Rx, Good Charlotte will kick off 2019 with a European tour. Before then, the band will appear at a number of music festivals this summer including Slam Dunk Festival this weekend in the U.K.