Precisely two decades ago, a group of high school pals in Maryland got together to make a punk sound that would take America's music scene by storm. Through the '90s when the genre helped define a generation and on into the next century, the members of Good Charlotte hung together. Then, in 2011, they went their own ways.
Now, just in time for their 20th anniversary, they've reunited. They'll take the stage Sunday at Englewood's Gothic Theatre in the middle of their tour for "Youth Authority," their first album in six years which dropped in July.
"You ask yourself, 'Who did all those bands on the Warped Tour grow up to be? Who are we outside of this? We got to go find out,'" frontman Joel Madden told Rolling Stone, reflecting on the band's hiatus. "We took the site down, we got rid of the merch; we wanted to kill it. We just wanted to go out with a clean slate."
In the summer, they were back at the Warped Tour in a lineup with fellow modern punk pathfinders, including Sum-41, Yellowcard and New Found Glory.
Madden and guitarist twin brother Benji Madden spent recent years dabbling in the production realm, working with the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer, the hit young Australian rockers who have credited Good Charlotte as inspirations. The Maddens also spent time away overseeing their fashion line and coaching contestants of "The Voice Australia."
Now they've got some fresh tunes, the batch of which was started with the release of a single, "Makeshift Love," which has Joel Madden back to singing self-loathing lines of a love gone by. After "Makeshift Love" came the spring release of a nostalgic coloring-book-themed music video for "40 oz. Dream."
"Grew up on MTV/When they had Eazy-E," goes the chorus. "In California, yeah/They still knew how to throw a party."
The song "was the perfect song to kick off our new album," Benji Madden told Rolling Stone. "It's got all the sarcasm and humor we've always loved, and lots of affection for the past and present."
There's less nostalgia and more triumphant forward-thinking in "Life Changes," with Joel Madden singing: "You know they say that nothing lasts forever/You know they said we'd never stay together/It's a long way down, can't turn back now."
"'Youth Authority' generally doesn't try to recapture the good old days," reads the album review from the A.V. Club. "... The record overflows with breezy, optimistic songs about overcoming obstacles and battling accusations of selling out; sticking with relationships despite issues or changes; and keeping a romance going."
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE, 636-0332, SETH.BOSTER@GAZETTE.COM