Bad Religion - The Dissent of Man

Album cover
Punk
Epitaph Records
Bad Religion
The Dissent of Man
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Epitaph Records has recently become a powerhouse. With the signing of bands such as New Found Glory and Set Your Goals, Brett Gurewitz knows what good music sounds like. It just so happens that he makes some pretty damn good music himself. He knows what makes a band click, and how to keep a band relevant. Don’t believe me? Look no further for proof: Bad Religion has been around for 30 years now. Sure, there have been lapses in releases, and re-releases to tide fans over until something new comes out. But when all is said and done, Bad Religion delivers. The Dissent of Man is no different.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have never been a Bad Religion fan. And it’s a good thing that sometimes first impressions are completely wrong. The Dissent of Man opens with “The Day That The Earth Stalled,” a classic Bad Religion track that shows the band firing on all cylinders, with powerfully smart lyrics, dealing with harmonic motion, gravity, and the way life can’t maintain without the singularity. The band continues then delves right in to “Only Rain,” whose opening riff will leave you begging for more. “The Resist Stance” finally sees Greg Gaffin urging listeners to take a stance and fight for your rights.

Not every track sees the band flying by at break neck speed. In fact, most of the album sees the band taking a mid-tempo approach, with songs such as “Won’t Somebody” and “Cyanide” leading the charge. Tracks such as “Turn Your Back On Me” and “I Won’t Say Anything” have an alt-country feel to them, which is a drastic stylistic change for Bad Religion, but it works and it works well. Gaffin sounds as good as he ever has, and the triple guitar work of Gurewitz, Brian Baker, and Greg Hetson is tight. Drummer Brooks Wackerman and bassist Jay Bentley bring up the rear, providing the driving force on tracks such as “Meeting of the Minds” and “Pride and Pallor,” the latter of which sounds like a song The Ramones never made.

Bad Religion could have phoned it in for their 15th full length. Instead, they chose to expand their sound. The album is not perfect, as some tracks seem a little half-hearted (I’m looking at you, “Ad Hominem!”), but a couple missteps on an otherwise sold album is forgivable. There’s something for every Bad Religion fan on this album, whether it be the punk (“The Day That The Earth Stalled,” “The Resist Stance”) or the straight up rock (“Wont Somebody”). Bad Religion aren’t reinventing the wheel with their 15th full length, but they are reaffirming their place as “the best punk band of all time.”

1. The Day That the Earth Stalled
2. Only Rain
3. The Resist Stance
4. Won't Somebody
5. The Devil in Stitches
6. Pride and the Pallor
7. Wrong Way Kids
8. Meeting of the Minds
9. Someone to Believe
10. Avalon
11. Cyanide
12. Turn Your Back on Me
13. Ad Hominem
14. Where the Fun Is
15. I Won't Say Anything

Bad Religion is a punk band from Los Angeles, California, known for poignant, erudite lyrics, and biting social commentary. The band was formed in 1979 by high school students Greg Graffin (vocals), Jay Bentley (bass guitar), Jay Ziskrout (drums), and Brett Gurewitz (guitar). In 1981, they released their eponymous debut EP on their own newly-formed label, Epitaph, managed and owned by Gurewitz. 1982 saw the release of their first full-length album, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, which gained them a sizable following. ... read more

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