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True North

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Editors’ Notes

Bad Religion has won the war of attrition. Not many punk bands that began making records in the early '80s are still around and capable of putting out albums that maintain and even better their reputation. But then, few punk bands sport a three-guitar team like Brett Gurewitz, Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks), and Brian Baker (Minor Threat). These players were all-star caliber when they entered the scene, and the years have only improved their attacks. The band's abrasive edge is kept in check, while its abilities with a great tune have never been stronger, whether in the speedy race of "In Their Hearts Is Right" or the tortoise-paced "Hello Cruel World," where vocal harmonies bring out the song's richness. "Vanity," "Land of Endless Greed," "The Island," and "My Head Is Full of Ghosts" stay true to the band's hardcore roots, but with stronger album production values. "F**k You" shows that Bad Religion hasn't lost its attitude, and "Robin Hood in Reverse" remains true to the band's poor-boy roots and its sense of social consciousness and justice. Longer may Bad Religion run.

Customer Reviews

Brett Gurewitz got his mojo back!

Anyone who was underwhelmed by the previous album, The Dissent Of Man, should be notified that Bad Religion is back stronger than before.

While the album does go back to the the band's roots, there are still plenty of experimentation and surprises. And Graffin's vocals are as solid as ever.

Also, for the first time, Mr. Brett takes lead vocals on a track ("Dharma and the bomb"). The band attempts unconventional sing-songy harmonies ("In their hearts is right") -- and nails it.

The best songs are the closer "Changing Tides" and the melancholic, downtempo "Hello Cruel World". Though, the title track seems to be the fan favorite here.

Baker does a solid job as always, though the guitar solo wankery is at an unfortunate minimum. His work here is mostly fast and short -- even more so than usual. No epic wailing this time, just quick and studious punk bridge work.

Overall, a solid release with nary any filler to be found.

brilliant

Bad Religion's best album since "Stranger Than Fiction". A sequel to "No Control", you will note that only one song exceeds 3 minutes. each song is its own punk anthem in its own right. this is the way Bad Religion should sound. this is the way punk rock should sound. absolutely gorgeous lyrics written and sung by Dr. Greg Graffin (Ph.D) and Brett. their musicality is tight as ever, production is seamless; the album's production method represents the general gist, sound, and vibe of the album, it was recorded on analog tape, but with the latest microphones and production equipment, as the album's sound returns them to their punk rock glory of the late 80's/early 90's, with a more refined, well crafted and matured edge.

This album is a punk masterpiece, and is more worth your money than any punk album since the mid 90's.

Recommended tracks:
the whole album, but if you must pick a few, the title track "True North", "F-- You", "Dept. of False Hope", "Hello Cruel World"

Just buy it.

This is, no joke, the best Bad Religion album since Against the Grain. It's raw, it's aggressive, and it is catchy as all hell. The more intricate songwriting of newer Bad Religion is still there, but the fire of the band's early years is back in full force, and the end result is amazing.

So just buy this album, you know you're going to anyway. This is what a group of old-school punk rockers sound like when they're firing on all cylinders.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all of the Southern Californian hardcore punk bands of the early '80s, Bad Religion stayed around the longest. For over a decade, they retained their underground credibility without turning out a series of indistinguishable records that all sound the same. Instead, the band refined their attack, adding inflections of psychedelia, heavy metal, and hard rock along the way, as well as a considerable dose of melody. Between their 1982 debut and their first major-label record, 1993's...
Full Bio