The Gray Race

CD Cover Bad Religion

Review by P. Freako

32-second excerpt from "Them and Us" (various formats)

This new release from punk icons Bad Religion is a solid, thoughtfully aggressive album. It hits steady from the start with rapidly paced guitars and strong lyrics. True to their punk roots, the band challenges The System, the infrastructure and the bullshit that is flung upon us as a whole. Years have gone by in punkdom and this album is not about hating the bloody Queen, but rather about how this society has taken a hold on us and affected us: "I'm just a faded negative of the image I used to be." Frontman Greg Graffin takes a more thorough perceptive look at society. The first songs on this album, "The Gray Race," "Them and Us" and "A Walk," set the angst-ridden mood for the songs that follow. Make no mistake, this is an aggressive album and Bad Religion still takes an aggressively passionate view about what they believe in.

Bad Religion fans will like this album, though it might take a few listens. The guitars are heavy, but the vocals are up front and clear, which is a rarity for punk bands. Graffin's songwriting is blunt and to the point, enabling the songs to capture emotion early on and let the listeners' feelings build along with it. Produced by Ric Ocasek (yup, of the Cars), this is a well-balanced disc that may take a few listens to grab you by your loins, but, like most times when something grabs your loins, it's worth the wait.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on April 4, 1996

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