written by Mike Cox
P.H.D. toting punk –rocker Greg Graffin has done it again. Fans rejoice. Critics be silenced! 27 years and 14 full-length albums into it, Bad Religion has rekindled the fire burning in the moral minority.
“New Maps of Hell” the bands first studio release since 2004’s (mostly) disappointing “The Empire Strikes First” showcases the bands depth and resilience. Baptized by fire and armed with a six man front including a three guitar arsenal, listeners are treated to a ferocity reminiscent of late eighties, early nineties Bad Religion. Evident just a few bars into the albums opening track “52 Seconds”, the band lets loose a sonic tidal wave that goes on to flood almost every track on the album.
Long fueled by Graffins’ lyrical proselytizing, 2007 finds the band breaking new musical ground, fusing their traditional melodic skate punk sound with a little hardcore, producing the darkest sounds to date in a long celebrated career. Lyrically Graffin stays true to form, highlighting social inequity and political injustice. His conviction remains just as powerful as his command of the English language, solidifying his reputation as one of the more intelligent songwriters of our time.
So deep is the lyrical content, that trying to interpret each individual track could amount to writing a senior thesis sure to enrage Theologians and Poly Sci professors around the world. Bad
Religion is vehement in chastising our overbearing, judgmental society. “New Dark Ages” a blistering track warning the unnamed and aforementioned of some metaphoric Armageddon really hits hard. Like brick to skull hard.
Though the first single “Heroes and Martyrs” was ill received true fans will appreciate it, which may not be the case with the likely second single “Honest Goodbye” a radio friendly rant full
of the signature Oozin Aah’s…lets just hope an accompanying video is NEVER produced.
Love it or hate it, Bad Religion is back, punkin’ the government, condemning the puritan masses, and invigorating the moral minority. RESPECT.