Bad Religion

DIN Productions & Tricky Falls Present

Bad Religion

OFF!, Emily Davis

Thu, April 9, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Tricky Falls

El Paso, TX

$25.00

Bad Religion
Bad Religion
Preeminent punk band Bad Religion will release their new album True North this January 22nd on Epitaph Records. In a world still brimming with rampant anti intellectualism, inequality and oppression, the band's signature brand of sonically charged humanist dissent seems as relevant as ever. On their newest record, the storied band deliberately revisits and refines the powerful and melodic Southern California sound they helped to define on albums such as Suffer, No Control and Recipe For Hate.

"We went back to our original mission statement of short concise bursts of melody and thought," co-songwriter and guitarist Brett Gurewitz explains. "The intent was to record stripped down punk songs without sacrificing any conceptual density."

The band began in the sprawling suburbs surrounding Los Angeles. As insurgent teenage punks they offered an impassioned musical counterpoint to a dystopian culture of consumerism and anti intellectualism. Founding members Greg Graffin, Brett Gurewitz and Jay Bentley were eventually joined by Brian Baker of hardcore pioneers Minor Threat and a supremely talented drummer named Brooks Wackerman. In the following years the band was a major force in reinvigorating the modern punk movement, produced beloved international hits such as "Infected," "21st Century (Digital Boy)" and "Sorrow" and has maintained an impassioned worldwide following of young and old who continue embrace a music that gives voice to, and celebrates, their dissent.

Produced by the band and Joe Barresi, True North celebrates the power of cogent punk in the face of personal pain and adversity. It is one of the band's most emotionally accessible albums to date. Beneath the bristling guitars and surging drums exists one of the most cathartic works of the band's career. "I think working within certain restrictions took away the mental aspect and let us devote more attention to conveying feeling," co-writer and guitarist Greg Graffin says. "We all go through pain and the best elements of punk give us hope in those dark times."

There are tracks which, as the band has continuously done throughout their career, ardently address world issues. There is the hard charging "Robin Hood In Reverse," "Land of Endless Greed" and "Dharma And The Bomb" which features guitarist Gurewitz singing over some classic Southern Cal punk. As Gurewitz explains, "The song's lyrics speak about the danger of radical religious movements inheriting the fruits of science (like nuclear weapons) without the benefit of its liberal traditions."

The album's first single is a joyously propulsive anthem succinctly called "F*ck You." As Graffin explains, "If any band should have a song with that title it should be us. It just sounds like a perfect Bad Religion song."

Other tracks like mid tempo "Hello Cruel World" veer into a far more expressive terrain. The album's title song "True North" utilizes a wall of guitars and charged beat to explore issues of alienation and loss informed by Graffin's recent life experiences. "The song is written from the perspective of a kid who is running away," Graffin explains. "He says 'I'm out of here, I'm off to find true north.' It's about recognizing that you don't fit in and trying to find a truth and purpose. Those are all classic punk themes. We still remember exactly what it feels like to be a disaffected kid in this world. And I think we were able to convey that particularly well on this album."

His cohort Gurewitz adds, "I think we both really responded to the challenge of writing short and fast songs on this record. The constraints set us free. Like moves in a game of chess, there are really as many variations as there are stars in the galaxy."
OFF!
OFF!
Over the past four years, OFF! have proven to be more than just a band. They also raise a series of challenging questions. After four decades of heavy use, does punk rock still have any life left in it? Do Keith Morris and his gang of grown-ass punk heroes still have the goods?

They've answered their own questions with a resounding yes through a packed itinerary of shows and a handful of recordings that are among the rawest musical experiences of the new decade. Combining reckless improvisational energy with the combined skills of four deadly sharp musicians, OFF! have dug down through a decades' worth of accumulated stylistic garbage, and rediscovered the stripped down core of noise, speed, and rock & roll that punk seemed to have lost forever.

Their third full-length studio recording, Wasted Years, is the most direct and unprocessed embodiment of OFF!'s mission yet. Recorded in their practice space, live to 8-track 1/2" tape--with the barest minimum of rehearsal beforehand and enough mic bleed to make punching in over rough spots afterward an impossibility--the album captures the group (Morris, guitarist Dimitri Coats, bassist Steven McDonald, and drummer Mario Rubalcaba) in the spontaneous act of bringing its 16 songs to frenzied life. Listening to it is like jumping into the middle of one of the most chaotic and electrifying creative musical environments on Earth, where Cuban rhythms and Sabbath riffs collide with the energy of a California circle pit.

Searingly loud, frantically paced, and best taken in a single 23-minute dose, Wasted Years is a sonic cinder block, a clenched fist raised in the face of rock & roll refinement. If you had any questions about the state of punk in 2014, this is your answer.
Emily Davis
Venue Information:
Tricky Falls
209 S El Paso St
El Paso, TX, 79901
http://trickyfalls.com/