BAD RELIGION: THE DISSENT OF MAN (2010)
1) The Day That The Earth Stalled; 2) Only Rain; 3) The Resist Stance; 4) Won't Somebody; 5) The Devil In Stitches; 6) Pride And The Pallor; 7) Wrong Way Kids; 8) Meeting Of The Minds; 9) Someone To Believe; 10) Avalon; 11) Cyanide; 12) Turn Your Back On Me; 13) Ad Hominem; 14) Where The Fun Is; 15) I Won't Say Anything.
Everybody is free to choose the breaking point at which the next review of a Bad Religion album consists of a single phrase — «Yes, this is another Bad Religion album that sounds just like a Bad Religion album». Most of the non-obsessed people would probably experience that breaking point somewhere around Suffer or, at most, Against The Grain: obsessed as I am, I managed to struggle my way almost to the very end, although none of these reviews could probably count as particularly insightful.
With The Dissent Of Man, I finally wash my hands. Yes, this is another Bad Religion album that sounds just like a Bad Religion album. But I will still add that the current highlights are Graffin's power-poppy ʽSomeone To Believeʼ, with a colorful guitar solo, and Gurewitz's ʽTurn Your Back On Meʼ (unusually sentimental for a Bad Religion song, despite the usual crunchy backing).
Actually, wait, there is something to add. Compared to most of the previous releases, The Dissent Of Man is almost scandalously apolitical. There are love songs, nostalgic memoirs, character portraits — and only a tiny handful of songs that explicitly mention Afghanistan (ʽAd Hominemʼ) or descend into moralizing, with more of a Biblical flavor sometimes than a Chomsky one ("well I know what's wrong, and I know what's right, and I know that evil exists sure as day turns into night" — a simplistic, but damn well constructed couple of lines, actually).
This is either a sign that the band is getting old, after all, and getting ready to pass on the torch, or perhaps it is just a side effect of the Obama factor, but in any case, it works well in terms of the general atmosphere — there is nothing on here that could be filed under «cringeworthy banality», although there is nothing that comes close to the apocalyptic fervor of ʽNew Dark Agesʼ, either. All that remains is give this stuff another thumbs up. Which, at this point, merely indicates that «Bad Religion have not lost it yet», although, presumably, only death itself — or three severe cases of either finger arthritis or Alzheimer's — will break this interminable chain, because writing and recording songs like these is theoretically a process without any boundaries whatsoever.
Check "The Dissent Of Man" (CD) on Amazon
Check "The Dissent Of Man" (MP3) on Amazon