Realistic rationality reveals revolutionary’s resolve
Bad Religion, the legendary punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, has recently released their seventeenth album, Age Of Unreason. Bad Religion has consistently released albums since the band’s creation in 1980. Keeping up this pace for nearly 40 years has not slowed lead singer Greg Graffin down at all; even through all of the members leaving and reuniting and through all the political changes, Greg has pushed himself to be so consistent.
Graffin’s lyrical style is more literal than metaphorically poetic; it is important that the message not be skewed. The album is well produced and Graffin’s vocals shine vividly, but the music doesn’t sound like anything new. Some might say it’s the same old same old. Even though punk rock has come and gone several times in popularity in the past; classic punk is the genre of revolution, and fighting for the oppressed by speaking out against an evil corrupt power will never go out of style. Age Of Unreason is not a reflective album designed to make the listener feel good — it’s meant to motivate them to act.
“Chaos From Within” seems to be about the Native Americans protesting the installation of the pipeline. “My Sanity” is about the rise of ‘alternative facts’ and contemplating complacency by turning a blind eye, pretending nothing is wrong so that one can find some resemblance of happiness. That song transitions well into “The Paranoid Style.” This song mentions how easy it is to get involved by exercising your right to protest; encouraging kids on both the left and right to be more involved. Extending a hand to both sides is an important act that is often forgotten. Graffin expands more on that in the next track, “The Approach,” saying, “is the enemy hiding in your conscience?/ can forgiveness pave the way?/ there has to be a place for them/ if tomorrow’s a better day.”
“The Approach” has a meaningful message about how, with the destruction of property and massive littering, neither side can claim a higher ground. As we approach true chaos, we should not forget to protect the people.
Overall, Age Of Unreason is chock full of powerful messages of hope to the disenfranchised, telling them to don’t lose their cool in a fit of blind rage. Bad Religion may not have the diversity some want, but the message is on point and well received.