Bad Religion – The Empire Strikes First

by Crom

In the 18th proclamation from the throne, Bad Religion continues to show the uneducated how to throw down. One would think that after 21 years of slaying the punk scene that one of the founding bands would become stale, or pull the all menacing Metallicaesque move of becoming extremely weak, and completely abandoning the sound that made them kings, but fear not, the Religion hasn?t given up on us. The Empire Strikes First stoked me from one glance at the name of the album. I knew when I slipped it into my CD player that I was going to be flayed alive with epic punk rock. I was not to be disappointed, and perhaps even surprised. Punk as an animal leaves the hoof print of anti-establishment and just about anti-everything. Cursing the ?Man? and the corporate complexes that own all our lives, one can grow weary of the same constant hate chant disguised as Black Flag greatest hit albums and garage band 15 year old Mohawk/part-time job woes. The BR comes to your home with an educated angle and a powerful thirst for you to open up and see beyond the protest.

There?s no doubt that they see the world in much the same light as so many other malcontents, but only in their heat and emotion can you see a glimmer of end-tunnel light. You feel like a student in the classroom; you learn not only from the words, but the sounds and pace of their music. They infused you with the same frantic, jarring pain you know they feel while looking at the twisted existence we?ve carved out for ourselves. As you hear Greg Graffin?s distinct voice soar out on ?L.A. is Burning? back by his heroic band mates, Brett Gurewitz, Jay Bentley, and Brian Baker, you feel as if you?re listening to a punk backed choir. There?s a quality to Bad Religion?s music that they only intensified in the last 4 albums, their melodic intertwine of all the members instruments and voices into a single, coalesced entity that shouts from the top of the mountain all the new tales that have displaced the old. The new prophets and bards keep hitting you with the touch, you crave in your soul.

I could speak volumes of the face kicking virtues of the album, but you should get a listen yourself, tracks are available off their site in mp3 format.
If you go to your grave without hearing the title track of the album (The Empire Strikes First) then you will have lived a wasted life.

  • Bad Religion – The Empire Strikes First
  • by Crom
  • Published on August 1st, 2004
Bad Religion
The Empire Strikes First
Epitaph Records
June 2004
5 out of 5 punches to the face

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