Bad Religion, The Process of Belief

process-of-beliefBad Religion
The Process of Belief
(Epitaph)

Don’t underestimate the power of consistency. Overly twenty years (yes, that’s right), Bad Religion have delivered solid album after solid album and have served not just as immeasurable contributor to the California punk scene but also as conscience of punk rock everywhere. After almost a decade in the major label world which saw founding member Brett Gurewitz depart to focus on his label, Epitaph, Bad Religion have returned to Gurewitz’s label and he has re-joined the band for Process of Belief. The resulting fourteen collaborations between Gurewitz and singer, Greg Graffin, are Bad Religion’s tightest and most melodic songs yet.

Bad Religion have long sounded like they swallowed a thesaurus and vomited it up during their two minute punk songs. Any glance at the lyrics will confirm this. A favorite is “The arid torpor of inaction will be our demise” from “Kyoto Now.” At least Graffin possesses the panache to pull it off. But it’s a bit strange as a listener to hear something as energetic and catchy as “Kyoto Now” and be unable to sing along.

In “Kyoto” and “Broken,” most notably, Bad Religion have perfected their melodic vocal harmonies in fast-paced choruses. Every track flies along in high gear with plenty of melody and hooks. As a result, it’s hard to resist “Destined for Nothing,” “Supersonic,” and “The Defense.” Bad Religion, as a result of much practice, have successfully merged their dual passions for social change and music. So even if you can’t sing along with “You’re obsessed and distressed cuz you can’t make any sense of the ludicrous nonsense and incipient senescence that will deem your common sense useless,” you can enjoy the energy that Bad Religion spews forth.

[This review originally appeared in The Scene.]