Thursday, January 17, 2013
Bad Religion: True North
I have always been more into metal than, though have an appreciation for it and prefer bands with punk leaning or who came after the first wave of seventies punk...post punk which run closely to what became thought of as goth, bu i have always respected Bad Religion who brings class to punk rock, they are educated and have a good grasp of song writing. I think this factors into way the band tends to get their fair share of crossover from metal heads.
Their new one "True North" picks up pretty much where they left off. It opens with the title track which is concise commentary on societies moral. It's concise, no surprises, they don't sound like they have aged despite the promo pictures that came with this. Almost to a fault the vocal follow their signature patterns. However this changes with the second song "Past is dead" that is more sung that shouted, though they revert back into form once the song kicks in. The layered harmonies are congruous with what you want from this band. The solo is very rock nroll but doesn't jump up on the monitors with Slash flair either. "Robin hood in reverse" keeps the tempo and I can appreciate the snickers taken at religion, but it's more of the same and has a blandness to which is typical of this kind of punk rock,
"Land of endless greed" I begin to reevaluate loading this onto my iPod as monotony starts to set in, the break down in the verse leading into the solo works, the drumming is fairly boring despite the guitars best efforts to make this not so. "Fuck you" is loaded with more woah ohs than convincing aggression, but their is an maturity in the melodic nature I can respect and I like how it punches going into the chorus.
"Dharma and the Bomb" the very rock nroll approach to the verse is a needed change, though I could just as easily see Buckcherry penning this. "Vanity" we are back to the 1,2,3 go style of punk, which had been done this way so many times over it loses it's effectiveness. The chorus to "In their hearts is right" is a cool change of tempo and melody.
"Crisis Time" starts strong, but the drummer seems to only have three beats he interchanges. Though this is one of the albums stronger songs. "Dept. of false hope" doesn't do anything different until the chorus which seems to be the albums formula. The first song where the ravages of age begin to show on the old vocal chords. In their down time the guitarists must have been really going back into the history of rock n roll on the sunset strip.
"Nothing to dismay" has more of a chug to it than the previous songs, but the wheel isn't being reinvented here. By and large the guitar playing is pretty solid on this album, the bassist might be sleeping on the e string half the time though. " Popular consensus " the wheel they were spinning when they were going back to stock punk riffs must have gotten stuck here, the melody is lazy and follows the guitar but as he sings the " popular consensus doesn't mean much to him" so I'm sure that applies to the laziness which befalls some of the songwriting here.
By the time I have made it "My head is full of ghosts" I'm almost too bored to be objective because I'm pretty much over this album by this point. I'm guessing if you are a fan of the band then real bland riffs is pretty much your deal. " the Island" they are clearly on autopilot and hoping the are going have this pimped out to an audience to young to know better that these songs are all recycled throw away riffs sometimes put to better use than others.
" Changing tide" is a little bit of an irony when you have just tried to force down and album guilty of more of the same. The lyrics which were one smartly written are now regurgitated cliches. The album is well produced and the songs are solidly presented just uninspired. I'll give this album a four , if you are a fan you might be excited enough to hear something new from these guys but would be fooling yourself to round it up more than a five as the creative tank here is running on empty and if you want tousle the well it's punk rock excuse, this is pretty much rock n roll, less removed from Social Distortion than it once was, though they share a similar fan base.