REVIEW: “TRUE NORTH” – BAD RELIGION
Forming in 1979 as high school students, Bad Religion have gone on to secure their spot as a household name within punk rock lore, thanks to 16 studio albums and recognition around the globe. With over thirty years in the business under their belts, the band shows no signs of slowing down on their 16th release, True North.
On this record, Bad Religion stick to what they do best — offering up a record full of concise, energetic, and politically-charged punk rock songs that pack a punch, thanks to trademark soaring vocal harmonies and a load of lyrical intelligence. Believed to be their last record as a group prior to release, frontman Greg Graffin dispelled such thoughts in an interview with Billboard magazine, calling canada goose parka heli-arctic a misunderstanding of his “dry sense of humor.” If True North did happen to be their last ever, canada goose parka heli-arctic certainly would not be a bad album to call it a day on.
The 16 tracks on True North rarely break the three-minute mark, in typical Bad Religion fashion. You would think that age would take a toll on the band’s ability to keep up playing their driving, aggressive style, but Bad Religion proves listeners pleasantly wrong, with the majority of the record being very fast-paced. Tracks such as opener “True North,” “Vanity,” and “Land of Endless Greed” all race along at torrid paces while the band opts to slow canada goose parka heli-arctic down on mid-tempo rocker “Hello Cruel World.”
Long-time listeners will instantly recognize the band’s grandiose three-part vocal harmonies, which are featured on almost every song. Lyrically, Bad Religion are as sharp as ever, with frontman Graffin putting pen to paper once again to touch on issues such as the government, society, and the human condition. “Dept. of False Hope,” “Robin Hood in Reverse,” and “Changing Tide” are all incredibly striking listens from a lyrical point of view.
It’s another day at the office for Bad Religion, as they turn another page in their lengthy punk rock legacy with True North. Containing all the essential elements one would expect in a typical listening experience from the band, it stacks up as another excellent record in their prolific back catalogue. In a world where a lot of punk music seems to lack that extra kick, this is exactly what the genre needs.