Loud and Clear

November 4, 2010

“The road to you is paved right through with bloody good intentions”

~ Bad Religion, “Cyanide”

It started with that line from “Cyanide”.  Then it got to the opening riff of “The Resist Stance” and a completely unexpected ability to make a refrain based in Latin catchy.  By the time the clever understatement of “Won’t Say Anything” was pouring through my ears, there was no doubt.  The Dissent of Man is a great album.

The music jumps from the speakers unafraid, subversive insight flying.  I have no idea how Bad Religion hasn’t started a revolution at least twice since the release of their first album thirty years ago.  Heavy metal is not the sort of thing parents should be afraid of.  This is.

Which of course makes it my favorite.  Maybe I have to follow the rules and be a good kid in 99% percent of my life, but for two or three minutes at a time I can run with the renegades.  Sitting in the car with “Turn Your Back On Me” blasting took all the misery out of a rainy Thursday morning.  Album after album I know Bad Religion will give me something to think about and promptly blow me away.  The new electric version of “Won’t Somebody” is desolate and gorgeous all at once.  How clearly I can picture a scorched and barren wasteland, and how much better I feel knowing I’m not the only one.  It’s their trademark solid punk with their trademark knack for surprises.   They won’t wander off into prog rock (again) but they also won’t get old.  It’s rare to find a band so consistently good.

I love the pictures of strange and extinct species next to the lyrics.  They add to the idea that intelligent thought can wrangle even this crazy world into sense.  With wars, inflation and bad weather all around, it’s nice to know someone is still seeing straight.


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