BAD RELIGION RECREATES CLASSIC TRACK AS SYMPHONIC PLEA FOR REASON “FAITH ALONE 2020”

Acclaimed Los Angeles band Bad Religion have just released a radically reimagined version of their 1990 humanist anthem “Faith Alone. The re-recording uses an uncharacteristic orchestral arrangement to further accentuate the song’s remarkably relevant lyrics. It is a philosophy Bad Religion have extolled since their very formation and has inspired songs like “The Answer,” “Atheist Peace,” and “American Jesus” that rail against religious hypocrisy and anti-intellectualism.

While the original “Faith Alone” was delivered as a propulsive guitar fueled punk track on the band’s album Against The Grain, the new interpretation begins with singer and co-songwriter Greg Graffin’s plaintive vocals accompanied on acoustic piano, before building to an unabashedly symphonic crescendo complete with sophisticated string arrangement. The result is a startling sonic departure from the band’s patented melodic punk sound and only serves to emphasize the song’s emotional power and intensely relevant message that, in times like these, “faith alone won’t sustain us anymore.”

LISTEN TO “FAITH ALONE 2020”

As the band’s singer and co-songwriter Greg Graffin explains, “I have always written songs on piano. Some of our earliest songs were written on my mom’s piano. I’ve been home a lot and so I started recording a bunch of our songs that way. Brett (Gurewitz) thought ‘Faith Alone’ was particularly relevant for this moment. For me, it exemplifies what’s special about the band, which is that we write songs that go to the spiritual and intellectual aspects of human existence.”

The recording of the song was done remotely. Graffin’s initial vocal and piano tracks augmented by the band’s co-songwriter Brett Gurewitz who added additional instrumentation including guitar. The strings were added by Stevie Blacke (Beck, Lady Gaga, Garbage) and the drums played by Bad Religion drummer Jamie Miller while producer Carlos de la Garza added additional production and a mix. 

Gurewitz explains, “I think the message of ‘Faith Alone’ really resonates with everything that’s happening right now. Racial injustice, Trump, the COVID pandemic, the rejection of science, none of these things can be solved by burying our heads in the sand. We’ve always believed problems can be solved through reason and action, not faith and prayer. It’s what we’ve been writing about since the band started.”

With this release, Bad Religion have added yet one more powerful work to an already formidable canon of intellectually provocative protest songs. Since forming as leather clad intellectual teens amidst the raucous Southern California punk scene, the group has served as unflinching advocates for reason and humanism. It is a message that has never been more necessary.

Greg M. Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at both Harvard and MIT, as well as the NY Times best-selling author of ‘Good Without God’, offers, “If I could take the frustration, grief, longing, and moral outrage rattling around in my brain these past few months and somehow turn it all into a single rock track that could help me stay human in this mess, that track would be ‘Faith Alone’ by Bad Religion. Sure, it’s a stylistic departure for one of the greatest punk bands of all time. But the message is as true to the band’s core ethic as anything in their decades-long catalog. It might just be the anthem we need to maintain our faith—not in religion, but in each other—as we try to get through the rest of this year.” 

ABOUT BAD RELIGION
Bad Religion,
 formed in 1980 in the suburbs of Los Angeles, has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Bad Religion has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen.

The band’s critically acclaimed 17th studio album Age of Unreason offers a fiery and intensely relevant musical response to the times, with songs that address a myriad of socio-political maladies, including conspiracy theories, racist rallies, Trump’s election, the erosion of the middle class, alternative facts and more. There is a stylistic consistency to the band’s iconic and influential sound – hard fast beats, big hooks and rousing choruses, yet each new song remains distinctive, utilizing composition, melody and lyrics to deliver a unique narrative consistent with the band’s longstanding humanist worldview.

On August 18, Bad Religion will release their autobiography, DO WHAT YOU WANT: The Story of Bad Religion, written with their full cooperation and support. It reveals the ups and downs of the band’s 40-year career, from their beginnings as teenagers experimenting in a San Fernando Valley garage dubbed “The Hell Hole” to headlining major music festivals around the world. The book predominantly features the four principal voices of Bad Religion in a hybrid oral history/narrative format: Greg Graffin, Brett Gurewitz, Jay Bentley, and Brian Baker. It also includes rare photos and never-before-seen material from their archives.

BAD RELIGION And ALKALINE TRIO Announce 2020 Tour

Los Angeles punk band BAD RELIGION and Chicago cult rock heroes ALKALINE TRIO have announced a North American co-headlining tour. The trek will kick off on March 26 in Los Angeles, California and wrap on April 19 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tickets will go on sale Friday, December 13 at 12 p.m. local time.

“This tour is extra special,” explains BAD RELIGION co-songwriter and lead singer Greg Graffin. Not only are we celebrating our 40th anniversary, but we get to do it with ALKALINE TRIO, who are such a great band. [I am] really excited about this!”

BAD RELIGION was one of my first loves,” says ALKALINE TRIO co-lead vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba. “I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard ‘Suffer’ around age 12. They are one of the very reasons I started playing punk rock music and continue to today. This tour is going to be epic on many levels. We’ve done Warped Tour and festival shows many times over the years, but this will be the first time it’s just us and I couldn’t be more thrilled!”

Tour dates:

Mar. 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Palladium

Mar. 27 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl

Mar. 28 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee Theatre

Mar. 30 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom

Apr. 01 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s

Apr. 02 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey

Apr. 04 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues

Apr. 06 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVA

Apr. 07 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore

Apr. 08 – Buffalo, NY – Buffalo RiverWorks

Apr. 10 – Asbury Park, NJ – Convention Hall

Apr. 11 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium

Apr. 13 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE

Apr. 14 – Toronto, ON – Rebel

Apr. 15 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore

Apr. 17 – Columbus, OH – Express Live!

Apr. 18 – Chicago, IL – Radius

Apr. 19 – Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Club

Coming up on 40 years as a band, BAD RELIGION formed in 1980 in the suburbs of Los Angeles. The band has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. BAD RELIGION has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen.

The band recently released 17th studio album, “Age Of Unreason”. The critically acclaimed record offers a fiery and intensely relevant musical response to the times, with songs that address a myriad of socio-political maladies, including conspiracy theories, racist rallies, Trump‘s election, the erosion of the middle class, alternative facts and more. There is a stylistic consistency to the band’s iconic and influential sound — hard fast beats, big hooks and rousing choruses, yet each new song remains distinctive, utilizing composition, melody and lyrics to deliver a unique narrative consistent with the band’s longstanding humanist worldview.

Since emerging in 1996, ALKALINE TRIO have become one of punk rock’s most progressive and unique bands of the last decade, rousing a dedicated legion of passionate supporters with nine fan-adored albums and relentless worldwide touring. The band’s recent release, “Is This Thing Cursed?”, debuted No. 2 on the current alternative albums chart, No. 9 on the top current albums chart and No. 68 on the Billboard 200. The album hearkens to the creative process of the early days, when the band rehearsed in a tiny apartment on the edge of Chicago’s Humboldt Park in the band’s hometown. Produced and mixed by Cameron Webb (PENNYWISEMOTÖRHEAD), it is the first ALKALINE TRIO album written almost entirely in the studio. According to the band, the album-making process was similar to that of “Maybe I’ll Catch Fire” — ALKALINE TRIO‘s darkly charged sophomore full-length.

Concert Review: Bad Religion, Rochester, NY

“Age of Unreason Tour 2019”

Bad Religion, The Lawrence Arms
Tuesday, August 6h, 2019
Anthology, Rochester, NY

Our score: 5 out of 5 stars

Bad Religion made a stop at Anthology in Rochester, NY on August 6th as part of the bands current “Age of Unreason” tour.  Along with the elder statesmen of punk were special guest The Lawrence Arms. Despite a thirty year lapse since the bands last performance in the Flour City both groups brought their A game to the sold out crowd who packed the gills of the intimate venue on a warm Tuesday night.

Epitaph label mates The Lawrence Arms opened the evening’s festivities promptly at 8pm and as the venue quickly filled to capacity the three piece group from Chicago, IL held court treating fans to their windy city brand of grit infused punk rock. Bassist/vocalist Brendan Kelly jokingly traded barbs with the audience between songs and at one point noted that this was the bands first time performing in Rochester. The band sounded great as it played songs from it six album catalog including a handful from their most recent release 2014’s “Metropole” before leaving the stage to a chant of one more song from the ever growing crowd.

After a somewhat timely change over Bad Religion would take to the stage basked in powerful, dark blue lighting. The band opened their set with the edgy “Them and Us” from the 1996 album “The Grey Race”. Vocalist Greg Graffin and the rest of the band consisting of Jay Bentley, Brian Baker, Mike Dimkich and drummer Jamie Miller blasted through a 27 song set full of classic BR songs like “Stranger Than Fiction”, “Atomic Garden”, Suffer” and “21st Century (Digital Boy)” and newer songs like “Chaos From Within”, “My Sanity” and “Do The Paranoid Style” all of which are from the bands recently released studio album “Age of Unreason”.

Bad Religion certainly made up for their long absence in Rochester as the bands high energy 27 song set fed the need of both long time fans and fellow new comers (some of whom were as young as 12 years old). Anthology’s medium sized venue played a near perfect host for the humble punk veterans who seemed to really appreciate the vibe and energy they received in return for their stellar performance. Bad Religion will be on tour in the States through October so if the band is coming to your area you owe it to yourself to be there!

Bad Religion Set List:

1.) Them and us

2.) End of History

3.) Fuck You

4.) Stranger Than Fiction

5.) The Dichotomy

6.) Recipe for Hate

7.) Chaos From Within

8.) Los Angeles Is Burning

9.) The Handshake

10.) My Sanity

11.) Atomic Garden

12.) Lose Your Head

13.) Suffer

14.) No Control

15.) Against the Grain

16.) Skyscraper

17.) Anesthesia

18.) I Want to Conquer the World

19.) 21st Century (Digital Boy)

20.) Generator

21.) The New Dark Ages

22.) You

23.) Do The Paranoid Style

24.) Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell

25.) Sorrow

Encore

26.) Infected

27.) American Jesus

CD Review: Bad Religion “Age of Unreason”

“Age of Unreason”

Bad Religion

Epitaph

Producer: Carlos de la Garza

Tracks: 14

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Punk Rock God Fathers Bad Religion have just released their seventeenth studio album titled “Age of Unreason” The album is being released vie Epitaph Records and features 14 brand new tracks which were produced by Carlos de la Garza. This is the bands first release since 2013’s “True North” marking the longest gap between albums in the bands history.  “Age of Reason” is also the first album to feature guitarist Mike Dimkich and drummer Jamie Miller.

Bad Religion is a band that holds a special place in my musical heart as they were one of the first punk bands me and my friends really got into. 1994’s “Stranger Than Fiction” was often the soundtrack to our skateboard adventures as were many of the bands subsequent releases. Needless to say the bands activity has been on my radar for quite some time so when it was finally announced that “Age of Reason” was going to be released after a seven year recording hiatus the album quickly moved to the top of my listening queue. Tracks such as “My Sanity”, “The Age of Reason” and “The Old Regime” are classic BR through in through as all three feature the bands signature fast paced drumming, intermittent guitar soloing  topped off by vocalist Greg Graffin’s thought provoking lyrics. Songs such as “Lose Your Head”, “Candidate” and “Downfall” show the band stretching their legs a little bit as they experiment with a variety of beats and tones giving the album a nice balance of familiarity and freshness.
 
From beginning to end I found Bad Religion’s “Age of Reason” to be a fun and energetic listen. Even after a couple of consecutive listens  I still found myself going back and listening to some of the previously noted tracks as I just couldn’t get enough. Does the release have the rawness of albums like “Suffer” or “No Control”?  Not so much. However, the band, its fans and the world as a whole are in a completely different place than they were in the late eighties and early nineties. “Age of Reason” is classic Bad Religion with a modern twist which listeners new both new and old will enjoy time and time again.

TRACK LISTING

1.) Chaos From Within

2.) My Sanity

3.) Do The Paranoid Style

4.) The Approach

5.) Lose Your Head

6.) End of History

7.) The Age of Unreason

8.) Candidate

9.) Faces of Grief

10.) Old Regime

11.) Big Black Dog

12.) Downfall

13.) Since Now

14.) What Tomorrow Brings