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Music Review: Bad Religion – New Maps Of Hell

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One of the greatest punk rock bands of all time have put out yet another album. It’s been 27 years since Bad Religion first formed as a band and they are still going strong. They are the godfathers of the Warped Tour and have a wide age range of fans all over the world. Their genre of music has been called punk, pop punk, and even melodic hardcore. There is not other band quite like Bad Religion. Their latest CD, New Maps Of Hell marks their 14th album release.

If you have not heard of Bad Religion you may live in a hole. They are considered to be one of the bands that fueled the popularity of punk during the late '80s. They have toured with bands some now famous and some whom have been buried years ago. Almost all of their shows sell out and they always grab the largest crowd at the Warped Tour.

The albums they have released over the years have been cherished and hated. Bad Religion has had fans turn on them and call them sell-outs because their music turned from a punk rock to a pop-punk on some albums. The comments obviously have not had an effect on Bad Religion as they continue to crank out albums and tour the world.

“52 Seconds” starts off the 16-track album. Yes, there are 52 seconds to this song and they take every second for a great start to the CD. This song reminds me of the young Bad Religion I was introduced to.

Following the opening track is “Heroes & Martyrs” a nice punk rock song with Greg Graffin singing away with his raspy voice. The heavier “Germs Of Perfection” is again a great punk rock song. “Before You Die” is a track reckoned to be listened to as well.

“New Dark Ages” is almost a forecast of today’s world and it is almost scary. Has the band finally created a song without a solution in the same song? “The world might end tonight” is not the type of lyrics I like going in my head but the boys of Bad Religion may be growing tired of the state of the world we live in.

“Honest Goodbye” is not only a single off of the CD but also a song that will be stuck in my head for weeks. I love the group vocals of this track and I find myself singing along with it every time I listen to it. I am not quite sure on how this band keeps putting out songs that are so catchy but whatever they are doing, they need to keep doing it.

“Fields Of Mars” closes out this amazing album but not without leaving a lasting impression on your ears. This track is one of my favorites on this disc especially the opening and closing with piano. Not one song on this album lost my attention and this track was no exception.

I admit I am a huge fan of this band so of course I am going to talk them up and tell you that this is one of the best CDs I have heard this year. I have seen them live more times than I have fingers and I plan on seeing them a whole lot more. I find it astounding that they continue to tour. I have been lucky enough to catch them in small dirty clubs as well as modern-day large venues. Bad Religion may have aged but their new material is still unbelievable. They are the kings of punk rock and they have earned their title.

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About Brian McConville