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Bad religion (The empire strikes first)

After a series of arid, interchangeable albums, current events and contempt for recent U.S. policy lights a fire in the belly of pop/punk pioneers Bad Religion, resulting in their most inspired record in years.


Tracklist:

01 Overture
02 Sinister Rouge
03 Social Suicide
04 Atheist Peace
05 All There Is
06 Los Angeles Is Burning
07 Let Them Eat War
08 God’s Love
09 To Another Abyss
10 The Quickening
11 The Empire Strikes First
12 Beyond Electric Dreams
13 Boot Stamping On A Human Face Forever
14 Live Again (The Fall Of Man)

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Biography of Bad religion:


Out of all of the Southern California hardcore punk bands of the early '80s, Bad Religion stayed around the longest -- frontman Greg Graffin has remained the group's sole constant member. For nearly four decades, they have retained their underground credibility without turning out a series of indistinguishable records that all sound the same. Instead, the band refined its attack, adding inflections of psychedelia, heavy metal, and hard rock along the way, as well as a considerable dose of melody. Between their 1982 debut, their first major-label record, 1993's Recipe for Hate, and 2019's politically charged Age of Unreason, Bad Religion stayed vital in the hardcore community by tightening their musical execution and keeping their lyrics complex and righteously angry.

How Could Hell Be Any Worse?Bad Religion formed in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles in 1980, comprising guitarist Brett Gurewitz, vocalist Greg Graffin, bassist Jay Bentley, and drummer Jay Ziskrout. Gurewitz established his own record company, Epitaph, to release the band's records. Between their self-titled EP and their first full-length record, Pete Finestone replaced Ziskrout as the group's drummer. How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, their debut album, was released in 1982 and gained them some attention on the national U.S. hardcore scene. After its release, the group's lineup changed, as bassist Paul Dedona and drummer Davy Goldman joined the group. This lineup produced 1983's Into the Unknown, an album that revealed the group's interest in progressive rock and featured extensive keyboard work; the album and the band's new direction proved highly controversial among Bad Religion's core fans.

In the meantime, the band's lineup was undergoing some more shakeups. Gurewitz had to take 1984 off to recover from various substance abuse problems, leaving Graffin as the band's only original member. In addition to Graffin, the 1984 incarnation of the band featured former Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson, bassist Tim Gallegos, and returning drummer Pete Finestone. Bad Religion's next release, the harder, punkier Back to the Known EP, restored faith among the group's devoted fans. After its release, the group went on hiatus for three years.

Suffer When Bad Religion returned in 1987, the band featured Gurewitz, Graffin, Ziskrout, Hetson, and Finestone. They released Suffer the following year, a record that reestablished the group as prominent players in the U.S. underground punk/hardcore scene. They followed with No Control (1989) and Against the Grain (1990). By the time of their 1993 album, Recipe for Hate, alternative rock had achieved greater visibility in the rock mainstream; in addition, the band's following became one of the largest in American punk. These two factors contributed to Bad Religion signing a major-label contract with Atlantic Records.

Stranger Than FictionRecipe for Hate was originally released on Epitaph, but it was soon re-released with the support of Atlantic. The group's first proper major-label album was 1994's Stranger Than Fiction; it was also Gurewitz's last album with the group. Before the release of Stranger Than Fiction, Epitaph had an unexpected hit with the Offspring's Smash, causing Gurewitz to spend more time at the label; reports also indicated that he was displeased with Bad Religion's major-label contract. The group replaced Gurewitz with hardcore veteran Brian Baker (formerly of Minor Threat) for their supporting tour, which proved to be one of their most successful.

The Gray RaceBad Religion released their second major-label album, The Gray Race, in early 1996, but it didn't achieve the same results as its predecessors. No Substance followed in 1998, and two years later the band returned with New America, which was produced by Todd Rundgren. Although it featured Bad Religion's best work in years, Atlantic dropped the band, and they returned to Epitaph. In the summer of 2001, Gurewitz rejoined the lineup after a six-year absence, and the group began work on The Process of Belief. The album appeared in February of the following year, and was widely hailed for its recalibration of the Graffin/Gurewitz axis.

GeneratorBad Religion's next project was the remastering and issuing of their early catalog. The discs began appearing in April 2004 with the release of Generator and How Could Hell Be Any Worse? The former included relevant 7" material from the era, while Hell took the place of 80-85, which had previously accounted for the band's earliest output. Both were fully remastered, as were subsequent reissues of Suffer, No Control, and Against the Grain. Bad Religion then returned in June of that year with The Empire Strikes First, a typically acerbic LP that reflected the surge of anger and defiance in the punk and indie music communities toward the policies of the Bush administration.

New Maps of Hell The powerful New Maps of Hell, released in 2007, continued on the path of discontent and railed at what the band saw as rampant apathy in the face of global crisis. Coinciding with Bad Religion's 30th anniversary in 2009, the bandmembers announced they would be going into the studio to record their 15th studio album. Titled The Dissent of Man, the album was released the following year on Epitaph. Rumors circulated that the group might be disbanding, but Graffin denied that there were any such plans, and in 2013, Bad Religion released True North, as well as a Christmas album, the aptly titled Christmas Songs. February 2016 saw the release of 30 Years Live, a vinyl-only album that featured a cross-section of songs from throughout Bad Religion's career, recorded during their 30th anniversary tour in 2010. In June 2018, the band released their first single in five years, the searing "The Kids Are Alt-Right," and the following year they issued a new studio album, Age of Unreason.



Don't miss the other albums we have from Bad religion:


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    Against the grain

It can be said that it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance, or perhaps even a fluke, for a band to release an album that completely changed the genre it was born out of. To release two albums of that quality and influence can safely be called a staggering achievement rarely, if ever, seen in music today. But releasing three can safely put you into "legendary" status. And somehow, Bad Religion did precisely that with 1988's Suffer, 1989's No Control, and this, 1990's Against The Grain - jokingly referred to by the band as "our Holy Trinity".

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    Age of unreason

The 17th full-length studio release for the punk rock band was produced by Carlos de la Garza and is the first with Mike Dimkich and Jamie Miller [replacing Greg Hetson and Brooks Wackerman].

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    Christmas songs

Bad Religion first tackled Christmas covers at KROQ’s Acoustic Christmas event in 1993. Their rousing rendition of “Silent Night” was the hit of the evening and is still heavily played on the station during the holidays. This year, the group took to the studio to record other classics including “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” They got the full punk rock, Bad Religion treatment.

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    Generator

Specifically, its raw punk anger is a gut-and-brain-level response to the Gulf War, the nuclear arms race, environmental destruction, overpopulation, and so on. In one of Generator's most caustic moments, "Chimaera", they go so far as to cast humanity as an out-of-control monster, at the same time directing barbs at those who look to a supposed supreme being for the answer. In that way they implicitly call for humanity to fix itself, a mark of the call for action that lies behind every Bad Religion song, even the most pessimistic ones.

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    New maps of hell

Bad Religion has done it again. With an excessive amount of members. With an ill-received single. And with twelve stylistically similar albums already under their belt. Bad Religion has redefined themselves once again with a crushing wall of sound approach incorporated into the band's legendary command of precision skatepunk.

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    No control

Suffer had already wound the meter on Bad Religion's Cali hardcore even tighter -- No Control simply and forcefully continued the shift, delivering a pummel of melodic songwriting made sharp by Greg Graffin's populist cynicism and the stinging barbs of a twin-guitar strike. The remastering for the 2004 version greatly amplified the album's volume. It might also strip away some reverb from the instrumentation, but the latter observation is mostly theoretical, as the later No Control really just sounds louder. This is welcome, as it makes the band sound that much more direct on principal cuts like "I Want to Conquer the World," "Automatic Man," the aggressive title track, and "Progress".

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    Recipe for hate

This is a landmark album for Bad Religion. If you heard this when It first came out like I did, chances are you were really suprised. The sound of this album changed slightly. Which took some getting used to, Not quite as fast paced as all their previous albums....and they also incorporated some sounds you never heard from these guys before.

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    Stranger than fiction

Everything starts with vocalist (and life science PhD) Greg Graffin and his deep, nearly sage-like voice. His singing is what it is on this album, decent, but the strong lyrics are present. Among his best moments are the thirty seconds of “The Handshake” where his voice chants “fend for yourself and shun the handshake” a powerful line topping off an already spectacular song. His voice is complemented by the appearance of punk gurus Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Jim Lindberg of Pennywise on the songs “Television” and “Marked” respectively.

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    Suffer

The excellent classic punk band known as Bad Religion was started in the year 1980 in San Fernando Valley of LA. Greg Graffin and fellow band members didn't fit in with everything going on back in that time and place, and they decided to make music to show it. Their first EP was made in 1980, and at that time the band started their own record label known as Epitaph.

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    Tested

Many of you starting to read this are wondering exactly what this album is. Well, to begin, this is the best live album ever created. Period. As hard as it is for me, I hold it in higher regards than the Face to Face live album, Social D's "Live at the Roxy", even the Descendents "Liveage". Yes, the Descendents. 'Tested' is a true experimentation in the concept of live albums. As opposed to one show, where the band may be acting, feeling, or playing a certain way, Bad Religion offers a large sample of the 1996 European tour. Sixty shows in 57 cities were recorded and narrowed down to create this incredible album.

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    The dissent of man

On Sept. 28, the punk rock veterans Bad Religion dropped their 15th studio album, entitled The Dissent of Man. For a band that has been together upwards of 30 years and has endured countless changes in line-up, it is surprising how consistent their sound continues to be with each new release. For the most part, the album is everything you’d expect from the Southern Cali musicians. Lyrically, the boys are as strong as ever. Known for exploring issues of science, religion, history and authority in their music, the band consistently writes songs that push the limits of what punk music, or music in general for that matter, can be.

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    The gray race

In 1996, Bad Religion released The Gray Race, their first album without founding member Brett Gurewitz, who had left the band the year before due to the growing popularity of his own record label Epitaph. He would be replaced by Brian Baker, who at that point was best known for his work in Washington DC's punk scene. There are noticeable differences between, which had already existed on their previous release Stanger than Fiction, this and the band's Epitaph days.

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    The new America

Musically, it's quite a fine album. It's very melodic punk rock, and while the song-writing still is missing something (that something being Gurewitz), it was more intelligent and thought provoking than the last album.

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    True north

Being themselves as sensitive to the social and political mood as ever, the now cemented latter-day lineup of Bad Religion have placed timely concerns about greed and irrationality at the centre of their lens once again, on an album which consciously leans back to the rapid-fire hardcore records they made in the late 1980s.

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