16 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Southern California's Bad Religion have defied all the odds, surviving the original live-fast, die-young punk aesthetic to become legitimate elder statesmen, despite abrupt line-up shuffles that have seen even its main members dealt out the door. Singer Greg Graffin and guitarist Brett Gurewitz are both back on solid footing for their 2007 Sony Records debut (Gurewitz also runs the highly successful punk label Epitaph). The rough edges were smoothed over years ago, but the band's anthemic power is still far tougher than the 'emo' bands who have emerged over their 20-plus year lifespan. The band focuses on war, government corruption and general discontent. "Heroes & Martyrs," "New Dark Ages," and "Before You Die" are far more seductive than standard punk fare, using carefully calibrated guitars and tight but never glossy harmonies to drive their points home. Graffin's vocals are emotive without turning to whining or melodrama, adding heightened drama to the cruising flow of the near Weezer pop of "Honest Goodbye" and the pulsing trudge of "Dearly Beloved."

EDITORS’ NOTES

Southern California's Bad Religion have defied all the odds, surviving the original live-fast, die-young punk aesthetic to become legitimate elder statesmen, despite abrupt line-up shuffles that have seen even its main members dealt out the door. Singer Greg Graffin and guitarist Brett Gurewitz are both back on solid footing for their 2007 Sony Records debut (Gurewitz also runs the highly successful punk label Epitaph). The rough edges were smoothed over years ago, but the band's anthemic power is still far tougher than the 'emo' bands who have emerged over their 20-plus year lifespan. The band focuses on war, government corruption and general discontent. "Heroes & Martyrs," "New Dark Ages," and "Before You Die" are far more seductive than standard punk fare, using carefully calibrated guitars and tight but never glossy harmonies to drive their points home. Graffin's vocals are emotive without turning to whining or melodrama, adding heightened drama to the cruising flow of the near Weezer pop of "Honest Goodbye" and the pulsing trudge of "Dearly Beloved."

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