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Friday, January 18, 2013

Bad Religion: The Dissent Of Man


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


  1. "perhaps it is just a side effect of the Obama factor,"

    Yeah, with GW out of office these guys' rants became even more irrelevant. They had to do something, some of those titles are downright universalist. Hell, they could be titles on a latter-day Christian metal album! C'mon dudes, fight the power or die!!

  2. Yeah! Don't let Obama fool you, he's just as much a tool for the corporate bourgeois as anyone with any power in the US, he just know how to put a more contemporary spin on the old evil grin. Plus, drone strikes!
    Fight the power!

    Also if you could write some interesting riffs that would be appreciated.

  3. "obsessed as I am"
    You won't hear mé complain, even if reading your reviews is more entertaining than listening the reviewed CD's.

    1. It's not an obsession, it's a public service. He does the listening so we don't have to. Put another way, we experience vicariously the joy/pain/befuddlement/disgust/pathos that he experiences.

    2. I dunno. If I want to hear 10-15 albums in a row that follow the exact same cookie cutter outlines, I'd probably stick to the blues or jazz genres. Rock music at its best was an ever shifting amalgamation of styles and genres, with a solid core but without fixed boundaries. Punk rock's whole ethos of "keep it simple, stupid" just strikes me as rigid conservatism. It's no coincidence to me that "hardcore" hit during the Reagan years. They can protest the Republican Party's policies as well as anyone. But as far as I'm concerned, groups like these simply embody the musical equivalent of that same ethos.

  4. Well, now I'm in a position of curiosity as a reader. Congratulations for reaching the end of BR's current studio output. Expect, according to information I've obtained, their latest studio effort, "True North," is due out this coming Tuesday. I wonder, George, do you have the time and resources to snag a copy of it, listen to, and write a review for next Friday? Or shall you simply wait for a more convenient chance and move on to the next "B" artist of this time period?

    Other than that, cheers on another good job!

    1. I have a bit of catching up with new 'A' releases anyway.

    2. If this blog goes on as long as is implied, I wouldn't be surprised if by the time you get midway through the alphabet you would have to set aside entire months to catch up on new releases! Dunno if that would be a good thing or not though. Might have to determine which acts are worthy of following new releases and which ones aren't (Bad Religion would fall into the latter category I would think).