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ATP! Album Review: Bad Religion – True North

Is there any denying that Bad Religion is legendary? The Los Angeles punk-rock alumni have been going strong for over 30 years and "True North" is their 16th album in that time. They've inspired countless bands - many of which have become much better known that Bad Religion themselves - and through all that time, the oozin’ ah's, the lyrics that require a thesaurus to grasp and the epic sound the band have remained consistently strong.

Since their last offering, "The Dissent of Man", Bad Religion has made a conscious effort to put together the most-loved elements of their repertoire. The result is "True North", and their efforts have prevailed. The songs are fast, catchy, full of backing vocals that will blow the socks off even the most casual fan and riffs that really just top off an already carefully crafted piece of art that feels both considered and refreshing.

There is no lack of message on this record either. ‘Land of Endless Greed’ packs both punk and political punches and collects some of the best elements from "Recipe For Hate", "Generator" and "New Maps Of Hell" into a blazing anthem that solidifies, as if it was ever in doubt, that decades later, Bad Religion continues to get better and better.

Fans may have already had a taste of ‘Fuck You’; the fifth track on the album has immediate power and earns more favour with each listen. The short but sweet solo only serves to further entice the listener, but it’s not all about legacy - ‘Dharma & The Bomb’ has a very different tone, although equally as alluring. It sounds eerily like the bands Bad Religion has inspired over the decades. The only thing this song suffers from is another staple of punk that many love: its brevity.

There’s something to love in every Bad Religion album (yes, even "Into The Unknown") and "True North" is no different. In fact, it packs an immediate punch that should get most punk fans and definitely all Bad Religion fans slam dancing in no time. Like all Bad Religion records, it’s rife with lessons about logic, tons of energy and a marriage of intricacy and speed that will never lead to divorce. It takes the best of what Bad Religion has done before and adds enough spice to feel both like a reflection of the band’s sound and an evolution of it.


Edward Strickson

"True North" is out on January 22nd via Epitaph Records.

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