Bad Religion, True North

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 01.22.13 in Reviews

True North

Bad Religion
Three decades in, keeping it simple has proven its worth

If you’ve ever heard any Bad Religion songs, you’ve heard ‘em all. And that’s really saying something, considering they’ve been around for 16 records and three decades. Here’s the thing, though: Bad Religion’s basic formula — the breakneck tempos of hardcore, cut with call-and-response choruses, hummable melodies, and lots of “hey”s, “whoah”s and “oh”s — has stuck around since the Reagan administration because it works. Like most punk worth its weight in back patches, keeping it simple (stupid) has proven its worth with the L.A. vets time and time again. That said, the group’s latest has its standout selections, from the juvenile but jubilant “Fuck You” to the crowd-riling “My Head is Full of Ghosts.” Things even get slow and sensitive during “Hello Cruel World,” but that’s not what you’re here for, is it? You’re here to pretend it’s the main stage of the Warped Tour in the mid ’90s again. And that’s exactly how you’ll feel once yet another frantic Bad Religion record grinds to an abrupt halt.