Year 3, Day 6: Bad Religion’s The Dissent of Man

Year 3, Day 6: Bad Religion – The Dissent of Man

Tracklisting

  1. The Day That the Earth Stalled
  2. Only Rain
  3. The Resist Stance
  4. Won’t Somebody
  5. The Devil in Stitches
  6. Pride and the Pallor
  7. Wrong Way Kids
  8. Meeting of the Minds
  9. Someone to Believe
  10. Avalon
  11. Cyanide
  12. Turn Your Back On Me
  13. Ad Hominem
  14. Where the Fun Is
  15. I Won’t Say Anything

About the Album

The Dissent of Man is the 15th album by California natives and punk rockers, Bad Religion. The album, recorded in May/June of 2010, was released in late September 2010. The album debuted at number 35 on the Billboard 200 and debuted at number six on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart. The album also marked the first time since the band formed (in 1979), that the line-up had not changed in four consecutive studio albums.

Thoughts on the Album

Bad Religion can be considered the elder statesmen of punk in the United States of America, having been formed in 1979. Not only are they considered elder statesmen of American punk, they are certifiable legends. The fact that they continue to produce music that holds meaning to people is a testament to the band’s steady-as-she-goes style/sound despite ever changing line-ups and personnel. I mean seriously, the band formed when Ronald Reagan was taking office! Well… damn! So let’s talk about their fifteenth release, shall we?

Let’s face it, the album sounds like the fourteen that have come before it, which could be considered both a good and bad thing to some people. So let’s also face reality here as well, they are not reinventing the wheel here. They invented the wheel with their song Suffer some 22-odd years ago and have never looked back.

The album opens with the raging and burning, The Day That the Earth Stalled, a 90 second thunderous barnburner that leads right into the it’s follow-up, Only Rain. These two tracks dish up brainy, meat-and-potatoes melodic hardcore which Bad Religion perfected with 31 years of recording. Both have the right combination of distorted guitar riffs and double-time smoldering mid-tempo melodies. Tracks like The Resist Stance and Someone to Believe burn with a righteous, angsty, and fire and energy of bands half their age.

The issue I have with this album is that of it’s sequencing. The problem is, the album is seemingly frontloaded with the heavier, faster, and overall strongest songs. This leaves the backend of the album with weaker mid-tempo tracks that just make it seem uneven. Also, the amount of songs on this album could have been fewer. Fifteen tracks was just too much, they had 10-12 arguably great tracks, if they trimmed the fat.

Conclusion

You know? For a band that started when freaking Ronald Reagan was President of the United States of America, they show no signs of slowing down. Considering most bands around the age that Bad Religion is slow down, this album proves that they can rock very, very loud, hard, and heavy. The Dissent of Man does a little bit of experimentation with various sounds and melodies, but through it all the songs don’t lose their punk edge. Tracks like Only Rain, Wrong Ways Kids, and Avalon marry catchy, hook filled melodies with a driving tempo. Whereas tracks like The Resist StanceMeeting of the Minds, and Ad Hominem just outright blow away the listener with ferocious guitar riffs and lyrics. Maybe, unlike other bands the same age, Bad Religion has found a fountain of youth and threw their fists in the air.

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