Sight & Sound

VIDEO: Bad Religion – “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Parody or not, Bad Religion have never been a band to stay clear of polarizing their fans.  From Into the Unknown to their major label days, the band’s output has often wavered from being incredible statements of political and social nature to just plain baffling. Their Christmas album? A little of both. While the content seems rather lame, the actual execution has been quite good.

As part of their freshly minted advent calender in which the band will be gifting fans one new gift a day until Christmas, the band have released the video for the song “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. The video uses traditional Christmas choir footage edited with the less-traditional rendition of the song. What can be expect from Bad Religion until Christmas? We’ll have to wait and see each day.

For now, check out the video below:




Sight & Sound

Listen to Bad Religion’s Christmas album

As weird and distressing it is that the band that so boldly features the crossbuster logo decided to record a collection of Christmas songs, it is moreso that after listening to them, you realize they aren’t so bad.

Bad Religion’s Christmas album. Yep, it happened. It’s out now on Epitaph and you can stream each track through the YouTube playlist above. The songs include their renditions of traditional Christmas songs “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”, “Come All Ye Faithful” and “Little Drummer Boy” to name a few. The set also includes the Andy Wallace mix of their Recide For Hate song “American Jesus”.

I really wanted to hate this but I don’t.

Music, Sight & Sound, Videos

New Bad Religion Video Sucks

Bad Religion. I love them to death. And no matter how old I get, or how old they get, there’s still a lot of punk rock in me that gets ready to riot riot upstart upstart whenever I crank “I Want To Conquer The World”. Their latest release, True North, some 30+ years into their careers, still holds its own against anything considered remotely punk rock these days.

But let’s not beat around the bush, the video for their latest single “True North”, just fucking sucks. Rolling Stone describes it as some young punk kid jamming to the song while waiting to go out for some “rockage”. No true punk rocker ever looked liked Justin Bieber. Rolling Stone sucks and while Bad Religion don’t, this video is just lame.

Featured, Music

Invincible: Rest In Peace Tony Sly

How does one find the right words? For someone who admired and respected Tony Sly from a distance, the day has been part coming to terms of what has happened and part sheer disbelief. Almost two decades since I first came across No Use For A Name, the music Sly and his bandmates wrote still resonate greatly, and a small part of myself just wanted to do what I’m sure he had done for so long; write down and express the many things that brewed beneath the surface.

Leche Con Carne and their spot on Survival Of The Fattest were my introduction to the band and I was immediately taken aback by songs like “Soulmate” and “Justified Black Eye”, music that could be both urgent and accessible. Their music was and is a perfect blend of aggression and unrelenting melody. It’s my kind of tune.

I can’t profess to know much about him, but from his music I know that he had a daughter, liked Irish music and that he made many friends on the tour circuit. The latter easy to see with so many of his contemporaries expressing their sadness today, and it’s a pretty definitive list of bands I grew up with, loved and listened: The Bouncing Souls, Less than Jake, Face to Face, Strung Out, Bad Religion, The Ataris.

I saw No Use For a Name live twice. Once back in 99/00 at Slim’s in San Francisco when they opened for NOFX, and the second at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne on their Keep Them Confused tour. Both shows were energized by Tony’s enthusiasm; no matter how long it seemed he’d been touring. And I for one, am happy I got to see some of my favorite songs performed from the best place possible; from the pit.

No one would ever call me a musician (one of the bands I was in back in the day covered “Straight From The Jacket” if that means anything) so I guess this is just from a fan. I never got to meet Tony, and I can’t imagine what his family and close friends are dealing with at the moment. But for someone who grew up on the other side of the planet, his music traveled across oceans and through borders and changed the life of some kid he never met. I don’t know why he died and I don’t really want to know, but I wanted to say thanks.

“Somebody get me off this lonely sad parade.
The differences a hundred miles, but a couple months away.
I’m saying hello just to say goodbye.”


Smashing Pumpkins, Social Distortion, Jimmy Eat World announced for KROQ Christmas

The annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas continues its fine tradition of music nativity with the announcement of this year’s Night 1 acts.

Headlining the show will be The Billy Corgan Ba… er… The Smashing Pumpkins, who will be joined by Social Distortion, My Chemical Romance, Jimmy Eat World, Bad Religion, Cake, A Day to Remember and more. The full line up is below.

Now in its 21st year, the festival has over its history, featured some of the best in rock, punk and indie music in a mostly unplugged setting (although, not really).

Tickets for the event run at $75 and all details and purchase info can be viewed here. The two-night festivities take place December 11-12 at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, CA.

Night 1 Lineup:
The Smashing Pumpkins
Social Distortion
My Chemical Romance
Bad Religion
Jimmy Eat World
A Day to Remember
The Dirty Heads


Bad Religion performs on Spinner’s Interface

Bad Religion recently performed on Spinner’s ‘The Interface‘, giving audiences a sample of work dating back from the 1980s to their most recent material, performing older tracks like “Suffer” alongside brand new numbers like “The Devil in Stitches”. You can check out their performance of new track “The Devil in Stitches” above.

The band’s most recent album, The Dissent of Man, was released this past September while a lavish vinyl box set is being released by Epitaph.


Bad Religion announces 30th anniversary vinyl box set!

It’s been a banner year for the good ship Bad Religion this year. With their 30th anniversary celebrations nearing an end, the long serving punk band have announced the collectors dream- a vinyl boxset containing wax versions of 15 Bad Religion albums! If there was but one way to crown a collection, this would be it.

The box set features the very first Epitaph pressing of the long gone album Into the Unknown (the first in 27 years!) and the first pressing in more than a decade of their album Generator. This limited pressing will be kept at 3000 while the first 500 to place an order will get their hands on a free Bad Religion flag.

The group’s most recent release, The Dissent of Man, was released last month. You can order your vinyl box set, retailing at $199.99, from Epitaph.

Album Reviews, Highlights, Music

Review: Bad Religion – The Dissent Of Man

In an interview prior to the release of The Dissent of Man, Brett Gurewitz had referenced Tom Petty and The Kinks as influential outlets for the album’s songwriting. It was a disarming statement at first, but why can’t a Bad Religion album sound a little like something Ray Davies would have written? Yet as The Dissent of Man unfolds, it is clear that it is still a distinctively Bad Religion album- compact melodies, sharp guitars and Brooks Wackerman’s great percussion work- but there are many instances where they venture out into the kind of ambition unseen since Into the Unknown.

It isn’t a grating, blatantly abstract form of musical diversity- they’ve exercised these textures with certain restraint. Most evident perhaps, in the closing “I Won’t Say Anything”, an acoustic driven, soft rock-tinged tune that will play closer to Tom Petty and Ray Davies than Greg Ginn and Steve Soto. But the song’s diversion from the regular Bad Religion sound is still in line with the album’s bigger thematic nuances- so it doesn’t feel out of place. Mid tempo tracks “Won’t Somebody” and “The Devil in Stitches” are from the same book as “The Answer” and “Honest Goodbye” while “The Pride And the Pallor” is a great example of forward thinking songwriting blended perfectly with accessible rock aesthetics and their trademark lyrical attack.

Where The Dissent of Man really tests the waters are with its two (yes, two) love-themed tracks, and as alarming as it is to know that Bad Religion have written a love song, it is less so once you hear it. Lyrically, it’s a mix of cheese and embittered lovelorn couplets in “Cyanide”; “Let me say / (Oh oh) well there’s no place left to hide / (Oh oh) from the loneliness inside”, complemented well by the song’s country-punk flavoured sound. “Turn Your Back On Me” is equally pessimistic.

The most effective aspects of The Dissent of Man are when Bad Religion ups the tempo and dives into more familiar waters. “Only Rain” and “The Resist Stance” (first heard on 30 Years Live) is closer to vintage BR, while tracks like “Meeting of the Minds” and “Wrong Way Kids” would not feel out of place on Generator or Against the Grain.

Gurewitz has said that there have been a few cases where they would step back from the progressive writing to pen a more straightforward punk album (as with New Maps of Hell and The Empire Strikes First) but this is not one of those times. Greg Graffin has made no secret of the band’s intake of music outside of punk rock since their earliest of days. Their latest simply shows these influences on a more prominent level. Some 30 years after their formation, The Dissent of Man is proof that one of the smartest bands on Earth is still challenging music on a multitude of levels. They’ve now challenged long-time fans and listeners as well, with remarkable effect. (Epitaph)

[xrr rating=4/5]

AUDIO STREAM: “The Pride And the Pallor”
Bad Religion – The Pride And the Pallor (from the album The Dissent of Man)


Polar Bear Club, Tegan & Sara cover Bad Religion

SPIN Magazine and MySpace have announced the release of a Bad Religion tribute album titled, Germs Of Perfection: A Tribute to Bad Religion.

The compilation will feature artists like Canadian indie popsters Tegan & Sara, post-hardcore act Polar Bear Club,  Ted Leo and more and it set for free digital release October 19th via MySpace.

MySpace has a couple of the tracks streaming now, both of which can be heard below. The first is Tegan & Sara covering “Suffer” followed by Polar Bear Club’s rendition of “Better Off Dead.”

Bad Religion are releasing their much anticipated new album, The Dissent of Man, today.

On astute user on MySpace left this rather amusing comment; “No offense to the artists involved, but wouldn’t a better title be: How Could This Album Be Any Worse?: A Tribute to Bad Religion.” From what we’ve heard so far, it’s 50/50. But at least it’s free. We are however, unsure if this talented singer/songwriter will appear on the compilation. She’s better than Tegan AND Sara.

Tegan & Sara – “Suffer”

Polar Bear Club – “Better Off Dead”


New Bad Religion album streaming in its entirety

The new Bad Religion album, The Dissent of Man, is now streaming in its entirety on their MySpace page. The album, due out September 28th via Epitaph, is the follow-up to 2007’s New Maps of Hell. Bad Religion recently celebrated their 30th anniversary as a band and gave away a free 17-track live album titled 30 Years Live.

Not content with just writing and recording a new album, front man Greg Graffin has stayed busy writing a book. Titled Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God, the collection details Graffin’s life growing up as well as “the formation of his naturalist worldview on questions involving God, science, and human meaning.”

Like The Dissent of Man, the book is scheduled for release September 28th. Pre-orders for both the album and the book are available via Epitaph.

After an initial listen, it is easy to say it’s “vintage Bad Religion” but it will take more than a few listens to fully get the breadth of the release. We have our a copy and will digest it proper and share a review in the near future.