It’s been a long time coming, over six years to be exact, but Bad Religion’s new album ‘Age of Unreason’ is worth the wait. Despite a couple of lineup changes – drummer Brooks Wackerman departing for Avenged Sevenfold and guitarist Greg Hetson also leaving, they don’t really put a foot wrong, offering an eye-catching collection of punk tracks. Their respective replacements Jamie Miller and Mike Dimkich prove themselves to be more than able to pick up the baton from their predecessors.
The state of the world is markedly different to how it was back in 2013, so the six-piece have a lot to use as inspiration. Never a band to shy away from socio-political topics, they address issues ranging from the border wall (‘Chaos From Within’) to Donald Trump (‘Candidate’) via mental health (‘My Sanity’).
The album starts off in an explosive fashion, the pulsating punk of ‘Chaos From Within’ and ‘My Sanity’ leads into the ferocious hardcore of ‘Do The Paranoid Style’. Equally as fast as the preceding tracks, it’s more melodic, kicking off a purple patch for Bad Religion, as ‘The Approach’ proves itself to be one of the stand-out tracks. Building up until an explosive climax with Greg Graffin’s passionate vocals, it’s followed by ‘Lose Your Head’, where they continue to wear their beliefs on their sleeves: “Recent developments seem like bad news for humanity”.
Each song is so fast and ferocious that time passes quickly, even if some – ‘Candidate’, ‘Big Black Dog’ – are a bit more mellow, relatively speaking of course. An opportunity to catch some breath, they have the same socio-political themes but offer another dimension to Bad Religion, showing that they’re still capable of mixing it up. They might be approaching forty years together, but their fire and fury still continue to serve them well, on what is a strong effort from the veteran LA punks.
‘Age of Unreason’ by Bad Religion is out now on Epitaph Records.
Words by Adam England (@garageflowrr)