Monday, January 14, 2002 @ 2:51 PM
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So deeply enmeshed in their trademark style, these LA punk godfathers have rolled out yet another chapter in their long-running saga, with this section pretty much the same as all of their others--two stepping beat, sob-core vocalizing, choral harmonies and minor keys. Because their sound is so immediate and distinct, Bad Religion rarely strays from this formula and as a result, their annual CD's are seemingly interchangeable.
This time around, however, the songwriting has improved immeasurably. The wall of guitars and boyo harmonies remain the same as do the nature of the plaints ("the modern world sucks eggs" is the sum of 99% of their output), but the execution and rousing choruses rise above the murk on the two stand-out tracks "Evangeline" and the tricky "Sorrow" (which begins as a dub-like fakeout before morphing into their most anthem-like track since "20th Century Digital Boy"). The rest of the recording is Bad R doing their thing with clock-like efficiency--If you were a fan before, you'll be happy, if you weren't, you might not be too impressed.
It's impossible to imagine this band breaking out of their mold/rut because they are the only real inhabitants in it. Let's just say that on this 2002 outing, they're a little more inspired than they normally are, a reassuring sign that even punk rockers in a jaded state can get it up when the spirit moves them and here it has.