The Past May be Dead but Punk Isn’t
Bad Religion has been together since 1979 and with a lifespan that long, which includes 16 studio albums, you’d be hard pressed to find a band that has stayed so consistent and true to their sound while still maturing like any good band should. Their newest release, their first since 2010, True North is absolutely everything listeners could have hoped for and more. With catchy, high energy songs that pack all of the harmonic vocals and driving guitars that we expect from Greg Graffin and the gang, this album spans the poppy and the upbeat to the heavy and the slow, and it’s great from start to finish.
One thing listeners expect from a band like Bad Religion is a heavy focus on their discontent with the government. True North certainly delivers in that area. And with lines like “here’s the church, there’s the steeple, open up the door, corporations are people” from the song “Robin Hood in Reverse,” they’re clearly doing it just a cleverly as ever. Who said Obama winning another term meant no good punk music? Even beyond the lyrics, this album has something for everyone. Songs like the opening title track and the slower “Hello Cruel World” pack tons of heavy, raw punk energy. “Dept. of False Hope” has enough pop to appeal to fans of early Green Day while still being hard enough to keep real punk fans interested.
Some say that spring is the perfect time for pop-punk, but this release is a great bit of warmth to get us all through this cold winter, a sign of exciting things to come from the world of punk for the new year, and as always, perfectly politically relevant arriving on the heels of the election, and more recently the inauguration. Hopefully this album will be the standard to which pop-punk for the new year is held, because in 2013, Bad Religion is still doing it right.