Bad Religion may not ever end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and would probably crack up at the thought of getting a call of notification, but when it comes to angry, opinionated, inspiring and defiant punk rock, the boys-now-men still pump as much fire into speakers and minds as they did back in 1982.
Staying true to their spirit on their latest release, New Maps of Hell, songs are deeply entrenched in analytic perspectives, with a musical voracity that is just as hard hitting. For those frustrated by the state of the world we’re in, there are plenty of tracks to sing along to as the volume is cranked up loud enough to annoy the neighbors at the end of the block. Bad Religion has also had a very melodic side to them as well, and this facet shines brightly on “Prodigal Son” and “Honest Goodbye,” beckoning back to the days when they shared the college charts with Hoosker Du and the like.
During this time when we are in desperate need of change, from the people in the white house to those that top the charts and flash their images on magazine covers, the saving grace is that we have artists like the ones in Bad Religion to remind us that there is still hope for our future and the clones haven’t completely taken over the world.
Some humorous outakes of their recording sessions are available at www.epitaph.com/videos/player/986, which includes singer/songwriter Greg Graffin looking very professor-like while he pulls out a rendition of the classic hearthrob hit of the ’80s, “Heat of the Moment,” much to the dismay of drummer Brooks Wackerman.