Sunday, February 15, 2015

Song Of The Week: 2/15/15

Song: "Modern Man"

Artist: Bad Religion

Album: "Against The Grain"

Year: 1990

"Modern Man" is a song that appears to be about how mankind has ravaged the Earth and destroyed her land, robbed her of her minerals and extinguished it's wildlife. Mankind has to be stubbornly proud as they consume their wealth and meaningless material things while the very thing that gives it life is being destroyed by it. Bad Religion formed as a band back in 1979, hailing from Los Angeles, California. The band featured Greg Graffin on vocals, Jay Bentley on bass, Jay Ziskrout on drums and Brett Gurewitz on guitar. In 1981, the band released the "Bad Religion" EP on Gurewitz' newly formed record label Epitaph Records. In 1982, Ziskrout was replaced by Peter Finestone and the band released their debut full length album, "How Could Hell Be Any Worse". This album featured the songs "We're Only Gonna Die" and "Fuck Armageddon...This Is Hell". 1983 saw the band release the odd, keyboard driven "Into The Unknown". At this time, Gurewitz left the band to enter a drug rehab and was replaced by former Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson. In 1985, the band released the EP "Back To The Known", a return to a heavier sound, but not quite the punk rock that the band is known for. In 1988, Bad Religion had an epic return to form with the release of "Suffer", which was Epitaph's best selling album until the release of The Offspring's "Smash" in 1994. 1989 saw the band release "No Control", featuring such concert staples as "Change Of Ideas", "Big Bang", "No Control", "I Want To Conquer The World" and "You". In 1990, "Against The Grain" was released featuring one of the band's most popular tracks, "21st Century (Digital Boy)". At this point, Finestone left the band and was replaced by Bobby Schayer. 1992 saw the band release "Generator". This album featured the tracks "Generator" and "Atomic Garden", the latter which was the band's very first single, as well as their first song in which they shot a music video for. In 1993, Bad Religion signed to major label, Atlantic Records. That same year they released "Recipe For Hate" which reached #14 on the Billboard Heatseekers charts, thanks in part to the singles "American Jesus" and "Struck A Nerve". In 1994, "Stranger Than Fiction" was released. Featuring the songs "Stranger Than Fiction" and "Infected", this was one of the most successful Bad Religion albums to date. At this time, Gurewitz left the band once again, this time to focus on his now emerging Epitaph label. He was replaced by Minor Threat's Brian Baker. In 1996, "The Gray Race" was released, produced by The Cars' Ric Ocasek. This album featured the tracks "A Walk" and "Punk Rock Song". 1998 saw the release of "No Substance", an album that received mixed reviews from both critics and fans alike. 2000 saw the return of Gurewitz and the release of "The New America". This album featured the song "Believe It", the 1st song co-written by Gurewitz and Graffin in years. At this time, Schayer was replaced on drums by Brooks Wackerman of Suicidal Tendencies fame. 2002 saw Bad Religion return to Epitaph Records and release "The Process Of Belief". In 2004, the band released "The Empire Strikes First", featuring the single "Los Angeles Is Burning". In 2006, the band released a live DVD called "Live At The Palladium". 2007 saw the release of "New Maps Of Hell". Featuring the singles "Honest Goodbye", "Heroes And Martyrs" and "New Dark Ages", this album peaked at #35 on the Billboard 200 charts. To commemorate the band's 30th anniversary, they released the live album, "30 Years Live" in 2010. At the end of that year, they also released the album "The Dissent Of Man". This album reached #6 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart. 2013 saw the band release "True North". This album reached #18 on the Billboard 200 charts making it Bad Religion's highest chartest album of their career. At this time, Hetson left the band to deal with some personal issues and was replaced on guitar by Mike Dimkich. The band released "Christmas Songs" later that year, a punk rock take on some Christmas classics. Bad Religion spent the summer of 2014 touring with label mates Pennywise and The Offspring. Currently, as far back as 2013, band members have confirmed that they are planning, and working on new material for a future release. Is 2015 the year we see it? That remains to be seen but Bad Religion has been as consistent as any band, if not more, especially one that has been around for more than 30 years. Influential? That's an understatement. You listen to any punk rock band that came out in the early to mid-90's revival and you'd be hard pressed not to hear some Bad Religion influence. Their songs are fast paced, melodic and full of social and political views that the band is not ashamed to wear on their sleeves and bring to the forefront. The should be Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers, Bad Religion could easily be on the Mount Rushmore of punk rock bands!!

1 comment:

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