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Bad Religion-The Process of Belief Review
By Shawn McKenzie 04/04/2002
First off I have to admit that despite the fact that Bad
Religion have been around for over 20 years, I got into their music around the
same time everyone else did...circa 1993's Recipe for Hate. That album
and its follow-up, 1994's Stranger Than Fiction, were, in my opinion,
very original punk albums.
I don't want anyone to get me wrong. I like punk music, I really really do, but
it seems like most bands just copy the template laid down by the Ramones and the
Sex Pistols. Green Day uses the faux-British angst of the Pistols; Blink-182
does the goofy lyric thing of the Ramones, etc. I've always felt Bad Religion
stood out amongst the crowd.
For one thing lead singer Greg Graffin is one of the only punk singers that you
can actually understand what he is singing without him losing any of the
intensity of what is being sung. The downside about their style, if you can call
it a downside, is that all of their music sounds similar. But, as the old saying
goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
The problem was, for a few years at least, it was broke. After Stranger Than
Fiction, Bad Religion founder and lead guitarist Brett Gurewitz left the
band. The likely reason was because he wanted to concentrate on running his
record label, Epitaph Records, but some say it is because he objected to the
band now being on major label Atlantic Records. Whatever the reason, Gurewitz
was obviously the focus of the group. After he left, the band tried
experimenting with their sound and trying out various different producers (like
the Car’s Ric Ocasek and Todd Rundgren), none of which sounded as good as their
older stuff (reflected in the fact that record sales significantly dropped off.)
Now, with The Process of Belief, Bad Religion is back, and in top form.
Gurewitz is back in the band, and he brought with him their old sound. Not only
are Gurewitz and their old sound back, but the band itself is back on Epitaph
Records. I'm all for experimenting and branching out (I'm one of the few people
who liked Metallica's experimentation with other sounds and Garth Brook's weird
but fun experimentation with pop-rock in the alter-ego of Chris Gaines), but Bad
Religion is best when they perform their one style.
Not that The Process of Belief doesn't sway a little. On the first single
"Sorrow," they do a kind of Clash-sounding style, and on "Epiphany," they slow
the tempo down a little. The rest of the album is pure punk, especially the
first three songs "Supersonic," "Prove It," and "Can't Stop It," all three of
which clock in under two minutes.
The last song on the album, "Bored and Extremely Dangerous," is a disturbing
look into the minds of violent people. With lyrics like "I'm bored to the
extreme/this world of foolish dreams/disillusion/I am not who I seem to be/yeah
sure I might do harm/and bear my right to arm/retribution/if only someone would
listen to me," the song gives you an inside look on those people who we all
hear about that people say "he seemed so normal, I'm surprised he did this
violent act." It makes for a chilling ending to a superior Bad Religion album.
If you are a Bad Religion fan, this album will feel like a homecoming. Now if
only we could convince fellow ex-Epitaph Records group The Offspring to come
back to the label, maybe we will get more "Come out and Play (Keep 'Em
Separated)" and less "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy.)" We can only dream, can't
This album was
graciously supplied to me by 93.3 KTCL FM Denver. Check out their site
Buy this album at
BUY THIS ALBUM NOW!
Buy this album when you get the money...
Burn a copy of your friend's album...
Listen to your friend's album at his/her house...
Throw away your friend's album or use it as a coaster!
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