Music News

Bad Religion May Suck, But That's a Super-Awesome Logo, Right?

I am not going to lie to you: I don't really like Bad Religion. In fact, I am an atheist, so I don't like any religion. I do like the band Bad Religion's logo, though. If you haven't seen it, it's pretty simple — just a black cross in a red circle with a red diagonal line. Just like the "no smoking" and "don't let your stupid children stand up in the shopping cart" signs. But this one I actually really like.

It even has an awesome name: "The Crossbuster."

It's a damn shame that it's the logo of a band I just don't care for. That just isn't fair to me, as a logo lover. I want to incorporate that logo into my life sooo bad, but if I were to, say, put one of the band's stickers on my car or wear one of its shirts (and, believe me, I have wanted to for years), it would be sending a message I just don't want to send. I would be, like, saying, "Hey everybody, I listen to a punk band that has stretched their career 20 years too long." I refuse.

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate Bad Religion or anything. That would imply that I even care about them. But I just don't. In fact, I couldn't care less about them. Along with Social Distortion (whom I do hate), Bad Religion has been playing the exact same song for 30 fucking years. The name of the song is "Snore."

But, hey, I'm probably the last person that should be writing about punk rock. I appreciate the original "fuck the world/anarchy" sentiment. But once a band is no longer smashing their faces with beer bottles and committing murders/suicides, it just becomes a bunch of pathetic middle-agers rehashing the same shtick over and over again. In fact, right this very second I am trying to listen to Bad Religion, just to get a little perspective. It's putting me in a really bad mood. Have you ever heard "21 Century (Digital Boy)"? Of course you have. That song is just goddamn terrible.

But I suppose that any band that still has such a huge following after being together for 30-plus years and 15 albums deserves my respect — if not my admiration. In fact, the more research I've done on them, the more respect I have. For example I didn't know that Greg Graffin, the lead singer, is the only member of the band to never have left the band. It takes moxie and a real can-do attitude to start a band and then go through 13 other members — only to end up with most of the original lineup back — and not have gone totally batshit crazy. Especially when the peak of your career (both commercially and album title-y) was 1993's Recipe for Hate, a record that peaked at number 14 on the Billboard "Heatseekers" chart.

But seriously, that album title is great. Recipe for Hate! These guys are seriously in a totally different league when it comes to logos and album names.

When it all comes down to it (and at this point of the story, it does) Bad Religion is no different from Kiss, Def Leppard, or any other band still kicking around based solely on nostalgic feelings for lost youth. You can't blame them; it's their life's work. And they have accomplished something that 99.9999 percent of the rest of the world can't even dream of: international stardom, a 30-year-long career doing something you love, and a seriously badass logo.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Shawn Anderson