Sunday 1 October 2017


GenresPunk / Skate Punk / Rock / Alternative
Related artistsI'm not even going to bother.
CountrySan Fernando Valley/Los Angeles, California U.S.A.
Years Active1980-present
Song: "I Want to Conquer the World"
Album: "No Control"
Year: 1989
For fans of: Punk music.
Label(s): Epitaph and then a shit ton of others.
This post's artist is from the August 2017 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the September 2017 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2017 Mix#10 here.

Welcome to my shitty, short and uninformative post about BAD RELIGION. Do I jam new BAD RELIGION albums when they come out? No. Do I still go back and listen to the BAD RELIGION albums that I loved? No. Do I actually care about BAD RELIGION anymore? No. With that being said, the band was instrumental in helping me delve deeper into the skate punk genre, thought about the world in a few new ways (thanks to the lyrical content) and Brett Gurewitz's label Epitaph branched me into screaming music via Refused and Death By Stereo in the late 1990s.

Well, here goes the history of BAD RELIGION through the eyes of Dave.

I first heard BAD RELIGION on the Punk-O-Rama 3 compilation, and the song was "You". Those sweet, melodic vocals were way less abrasive than 99% of punk. They had amazing backups, and every song was nearly identical. Early punk Dave was all over that shit. So I went to the local cd store in Oshawa, Ontario and picked up 'No Control' and 'Stranger Than Fiction'. Upon returning home and jamming both LPs, I was like, "Why does this second release suck?" and so goes my BAD RELIGION bias.

Essentially, after being a straight up punk band from 1980 to 1982, Brett (guitar) was given a synthesizer for christmas which was used in the 1983 LP 'Into the Unknown'. With members being very unhappy with the sound, the band broke up over it. Two years later they reformed and recorded 'Back to the Known' which sounds much more like 'Suffer' than the band's earlier work and set the foundation for the (good) BAD RELIGION sound. Songs like "Yesterday", "Along the Way" and "New Leaf" showcase the matured songwriting and vocal control attained during the band's hiatus.

In 1988 they released the stellar 'Suffer' LP, which I pretty much consider one of, if not the, founding cornerstone of political driven skate punk. Boasting great tracks such as the penultimate "1000 More Fools" this thing is legendary, and rightfully so. Only a year later they dropped what I consider the best BAD RELIGION album, 'No Control'. This thing has a ton of gems, including: "Big Bang" (catchy-ass chorus), "No Control" (love them palm-mutes), "Sanity" (Greg's best vocal performance), "You" (my introduction to the band, and a pretty dark song), "Progress" (with its chunky intro and punk-as-fuck lyrics) and "Billy" (killer verses and backups). I would still posit that "I Want to Conquer the World" is the best BAD RELIGION song of all time, with that wailin' guitar opening, fantastic lyrics and one hell of a chorus, "IIIIIIIIII waaaaaant to conquer the world! Give all the idiots a brand new religion. Put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil. Promote equality in all of my decisions. Expose the culprits and feed them to the children. Do away with their pollution and then I'll save the whales. We'll have peace on Earth and global communion." Part truth, part sarcasm. I love it.

In 1990 they released the final tip of what I consider to be the golden years triangle, as in the string of three years ('Suffer' in 1988, 'No Control' in 1989 and this), the 'Against the Grain' LP. Starting visually with an awesome cover, the album delves quickly into the phenomenal "Modern Man" (I love the line, "Modern man, evolutionary betrayer."), "Anesthesia" (very progressive guitars), "Faith Alone" (awesome chorus), "Against the Grain" (a subtle force), "Operation Rescue" (so many lyrics) and the original version of "21st Century Digital Boy" (which is much better than the overproduced version rerecorded and used in the music video linked here).

I was ignorantly against 1992 'Generator' initially, but after hearing the title track a few years back I realized that I was getting it mixed up with 'Recipe for Hate' (which I really don't enjoy). Opener "Generator" is a great song, especially instrumentally, which isn't something we discussed much prior to their 1990 release. The rest of the record is decent but pales in comparison to the opener.

Everything that I've heard from 1993 onward does nothing for me. I remember when "selling out" was discussed a lot in punk and I always thought the idea was absurd, but the change in sound for BAD RELIGION at this particular juncture in their career is a bit fishy. I don't know, I've always been very saddened at the direction they took and haven't bothered touching the band since trying my best to get into 'Recipe for Hate' (1993), 'Stranger Than Fiction' (1994) and 'The Gray Race' (1996). Also, I got out of skate punk in the early 2000s after being introduced to melodic hardcore and metalcore, which morphed into an obsession with screamo around 2003.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm glad to have evolved past this stuff while still remembering my roots and how much I used to love BAD RELIGION.

If you're looking for downloads go here as there is a massive post including demos of the early albums and it's all free.



1988 - Suffer cassette/cd/12"LP

1989 - No Control cassette/cd/12"LP

1990 - Against the Grain cassette/cd/12"LP

1991 - 80-85 cassette/cdLP

1992 - Generator cassette/cd/12"LP


(1982) BAD RELIGION - "We're Only Gonna Die" (from 'How Could Hell Be Any Worse?')

(1985) BAD RELIGION - "Yesterday" (from 'Back to the Known')

(1988) BAD RELIGION - "1000 More Fools" (from 'Suffer')

(1988) BAD RELIGION - "Land of Competition" (from 'Suffer')

(1989) BAD RELIGION - "I Want to Conquer the World" (from 'No Control')

(1989) BAD RELIGION - "You" (from 'No Control')

(1989) BAD RELIGION - "Billy" (from 'No Control')

(1990) BAD RELIGION - "Modern Man" (from 'Against the Grain') music video

(1990) BAD RELIGION - "Faith Alone" (from 'Against the Grain')

(1990) BAD RELIGION - "Against the Grain" (from 'Against the Grain')

(1992) BAD RELIGION - "Generator" (from 'Generator')

(1992) BAD RELIGION - "Atomic Garden" (from 'Generator')


BAD RELIGION additional links


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