Bad Religion's first album came out in 1982. That's 35 years ago. They're still pumping out new albums and selling concert tickets nationwide.With this kind of longevity comes a massive catalog of hundreds of songs. Therefore, it's understandable that you may have slept on a couple of gems on your way through their catalog. Here are five Bad Religion songs you might want listen to again. If you get lucky, maybe the band will play one of these at their concert at Marquee Theatre on Friday, April 10.
"Into The Night," How Could Hell Get Any Worse? Early '80s L.A. hardcore punk rock
It was 1982, and Bad Religion had just released its first album How Could Hell Get Any Worse? The band released "In The Night" in a time period when punk was struggling to find a place for itself. Because of this, you can feel a sense of somber urgency and youthful vigor in both the music and lyrics that makes you wish you could've seen them back then, unless you did. You can also hear how raw the recording was, which was noticeable of much of the punk that was being released at the time. Another quality that I like of this song is how much of their influences or who they influenced can be noticed, like what bands such as Social Distortion were releasing at the time.
"Faith Alone," Against The Grain Early '90s bluesy punk rock
Bad Religion started going an interesting direction when they put out "Faith Alone," a song from the band's 1990 album, Against the Grain. They had already been finding their voice (what they call the oozin' aahs) before this song through their harmonies and started developing some killer melodies. What I really take away from this song, other than the blues influence and crude energy, is how much the lyrics ring true, reminding us that "faith alone won't sustain us anymore."
"The Answer," Generator Early '90s punk rock
"The Answer" stands out from the rest of Generator (1992) with its well crafted dire undertones and dark, eerie backup vocals. This song is definitely a hidden gem among classic punk anthems. The melody signals distress one moment and is soothing the next. Similarly, the vocals attack anyone who claims to have the answer. While this may be disconcerting, it's also reassuring: nothing is set in stone.
"Watch It Die" - Recipe For Hate '90s alternative punk rock ft. Eddie Vedder
Bad Religion really put themselves on the map at this point. It was 1993, and this was their major label debut, as before the album came out the band switched labels from Epitaph to Atlantic Records. They had the opportunity to collaborate with a couple mainstream artists but, in particular, with Eddie Vedder on "Watch It Die." This song has a hint of blues and country influence, like much of Recipe, while incorporating a heavy dose of alternative. These are all wonderful qualities in the song but what stands out to me is how marvelously nihilistic it is. As the saying goes, some men just want to watch the world burn.
"All There Is" - The Empire Strikes First Hardcore punk rock
Any potentially bad direction that Bad Religion took in their career was remedied when they came full circle into bringing their hardcore punk energy back into their sound for this 2004 album, The Empire Strikes First. There are plenty of examples but "All There Is" stands out as anthemic with its frenetically powerful drive enveloped by a robust volume of country and a faint glimmer of blues influence. This just adds to the fun lyrical content, informing us, once again, of the beauty that we can find in a collapsing world. All of these fantastic qualities that Bad Religion still brings to the table, whether on recordings or live, will leave you with one question: Can that be all there is?
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