Age Of Unreason

Bad Religion

Epitaph, 2019

http://www.badreligion.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/29/2019

Well, it’s been a fun couple of years since Bad Religion released their last record. First, they lost guitarist Greg Hetson and a few months later, drummer Brooks Wackerman left to join Avenged Sevenfold. Since then, the band has regrouped with guitarist Mike Dimkich (The Cult) and drummer Jamie Miller (Snot, theStart) and other than that haven’t changed much about their sound. Opening track “Chaos From Within” is a blistering two-minute warning to all these other “punk” bands that have been changing their sound that BR is here to stay and isn’t ever going to change anything. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This is a bit different record than 2013’s amazing True North. “My Sanity” feels like a song written for the radio. It’s a bit slower and melancholier; it’s not terrible, but it’s not a song you’ll end up repeating. The same thing goes for “Candidate,” which sounds like Green Day circa 2000 and that’s probably not good for a band like BR. There are slower songs on here that I wasn’t expecting, but I guess it’s par for the course. Even though it’s a bit more polished than other stuff here, “End Of History” is a really interesting song that grabs you by the ear and demands attention. The title track is a swift little number that really shows the band hasn’t forgotten their roots.

But the bad thing about the whole thing is that it feels like one of their late ‘90s Atlantic records, middling and average but with a handful of good tracks. “Old Regime” and the blistering “Faces Of Grief” are two of the better tracks toward the end of the disc. Despite sounding a bit contrived and hokey “Big Black Dog” is a nice diss against Trump, and who doesn’t love a song dissing Trump these days?

Overall, this is a decent return for these punk legends, but it won’t ever rank in the top tier of their discography.

Rating: B-

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