'Age of Unseen' - Bad Religion / Turned Up Louder
Ah, punk music! There’s not a genre like it that can match the fire and intensity it has matched with brash instrumentation and blunt but truthful lyrics that get you in the soul. And Californian punk group, Bad Religion, are no exception to that. Having stuck together since their beginning in 1980, their albums like Stranger Than Fiction and The Gray Race are still regarded as some of the best from the genre. Fast-forward to now, and the band are still going strong and have released their new album, Age of Unseen. But how does this new offering from the band compare to their previous efforts?
Not only does this continue that feeling of a Bad Religion album, but the band make it feel modern and fresh with the lyrics whilst still continuing their genuine sound! Songs like “End of History” and “Old Regime” showcase how these guys have fine tuned their sound so well, that they don’t need to have fancy electronics to keep the style up to date. The drums continue to be that fast driving force behind all of their songs, and even when the tempo is taken down a notch, that power is never lost. The guitars scream punk, even with the fantastic guitar solos. This instrumentation is the same as their last albums, but never once does it feel tired in this whole album. Everything seems so alive, and it’s thanks to the lyrics. Wow, the lyrics! There is so much anger behind them, it’s harsh but so so real. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right words to say about a song because it genuinely is that good to listen to, especially for repeat listening. It’s great hearing a song like “Lose Your Head” that has this dark nature in the lyrics juxtaposed with the upbeat sound of the music, showing why Bad Religion is a great band still. The only issue is that, for the most part, the songs are really short! Most of them don’t clock more than 3 minutes, with “Faces of Grief” barely clocking in at 2 minutes! Punk is meant to be very fast and aggressive, but it’s not a race to finish the song. However, that detriment can be seen as a positive as well, as you’ll just want to keep listening to this band’s sound forever!
Overall, it’s a solid effort from the band, and one that should get the same attention as something like Stranger Than Fiction. Bad Religion don’t need to change for anyone, least of all themselves, and they’ve laid the groundwork to show other bands how to stay themselves whilst bringing fresh material to their audience. One for the ages!
Age of Unseen is OUT NOW! Catch the band on the Punk In Drublic Stage at Slam Dunk Festival 2019!