Into The Unknown

Bad Religion

Epitaph, 1983

REVIEW BY: Jason Thornberry


This was issued briefly on BR's own Epitaph label in 1983, and quickly snatched back and deleted by the band in apparent embarrassment. In 1984 they went my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Back To The Known with a return-to-basics EP of the same name. The "known" is best captured on their classic Against The Grain (1990), No Control (1989), and 1988's Suffer.

Their seeming alignment with Jock-Core has typecast Bad Religion unfairly, and diverted the public's attention away from the fact that they indeed know their way around a tune. They've simply accelerated the tempos.

Look around for this a bit like I did, or go online and finagle a copy of it for yourself. Especially if you've never been partial to Bad Religion's caffeinated sing-along punk. My bootleg CD also contains two tracks from a Sounds of Hollywood compilation LP, an "unknown" track from the Desperate Teenage Lovedolls soundtrack, and a pair of songs recorded live.

What does it sound like? I had heard rumors of the existence of this record for at least a decade. After I found it I played bits of it for friends telling them to try and guess just who it was. Greg Graffin's voice is straight away Clue #1, but no one could put their finger on why it all seemed so familiar. Bad Religion has almost always had other elements. I'd liken them more to The Kinks than to Rudimentary Peni.

This album is almost Journey-ish, with great, big fuck-off keyboards way up in the mix. It actually seems like the whole endeavor was an experiment that accidentally got their logo placed on it. The eight songs do grow on you after a few days. I don't think they should be ashamed of it at all. Next time you're at one of their shows stand in front, and ask them to play "Time and Disregard," or "The Dichotomy." Then they'll know that you're a real fan.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


Man, I'm surprised you guys managed to get your hands on this! It's not nearly as bad as Bad Religion make it out to be - it just completely betrays their punk rock aesthetic. I imagine that's why the group deleted it from their catalog when it was released to indifference. The band had much greater critical and commercial success with punk, which they returned to soon after with the appropriately named Back to the Known EP.

Imagine how differently things might have turned out for Graffin and co. had this album been a megahit...

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