ANTI- Records, 2017
REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/19/2017
As frontman of the legendary Bad Religion, Greg Graffin has become a punk rock icon and one of the best singers in punk history. As a solo artist, he goes for a complete 180. On this his third solo record in 20 years, he strips down to acoustic folk and the results are just a bit head scratching.
The folky “Backroads Of My Mind” is very weird and doesn’t do a single thing for me. It doesn’t get me riled up, excited, or even thinking about anything; it just kind of sits there. Same thing goes for “Too Many Virtues,” which comes across like a weird country song and is definitely not for the average Bad Religion fan.
Not all is lost, though. “Lincoln’s Funeral Train” has a bit more punch to it and was a bit more to my liking. It’s without a doubt one of the best songs here. “Making Time” is another track that slightly works; while it’s just okay, it doesn’t have the same weightiness as the previously mentioned “Lincoln.”
Then the weirdness really begins. “Time Of Need” ends up coming across like an oddball gospel song. It definitely isn’t for everyone and ends up being one of the weirder tracks here. “Echo On The Hill” has the oddest sort of Mumford And Sons type sound that is the most surprising of all and has to be one of the most unexpected things I’ve heard in quite some time. Album closer “Waxwings” feels like another old timey country track and is definitely not for the faint of heart.
All in all, if you’re not already familiar with Graffin’s solo follies and are trying to get into it for the first time, you may be in for quite an unpleasant surprise. This is not bad, but he’s better sticking with Bad Religion.