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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Bad Religion, the legendary punk band from southern California. The six-year gap between 2013’s True North (and the holiday album Christmas Songs from the same year) and their new album, Age of Unreason, is the longest break the band has taken in their four-decade career. But part of the reason the band is legendary is their socially and politically conscious songwriting, courtesy of singer Greg Graffin and founding guitarist Brett Gurewitz. With the Trump Administration in full swing, it’s no surprise to find that Bad Religion has an album’s worth of thoughts to share.
There isn’t much in the way of surprises on Age of Unreason. Bad Religion is playing the same fast, crunchy punk they always do, with Graffin’s angry but melodic, harmony-laden vocals coasting over the top. And those vocals are full of lyrics that skewer, howl, and rage about the state of the United States. But the band is very good at what they do, and Graffin’s erudite, clever takes on various issues makes the album significantly more entertaining than reading, say, your progressive-leaning aunt’s Twitter feed.