Posted by: admin
| 07/15/2007 at 17:00
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Here's more reviews for ye folks...
New Maps of Hell
It's frequently tough going for those who play in a band as well as run tiny start-up labels. Not for Epitaph Records owner Brett Gurewitz, at least not now. His label helped solidify West Coast punk as a transmissive force in American rock; his band, Bad Religion, has scouted that drive since the early 1980s. New Maps of Hell, its 14th album, does away with the iffy previous forays into overproduced prog-punk to revisit much of what makes the genre work: furious rhythms, a direct recording approach, socially scathing melodies and themes, and undeniable gristly energy. Punk students: Compare and contrast the harmonious urgency of "New Dark Ages" with the wicked-down grit of "Honest Goodbye." Bad Religion is your professor. Study hard.
original source [ here ]
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From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (local newspaper):
Like- but not too much like- a punk AC/DC, Bad Religion has recorded innumerable variations on a handful of musical themes that it thought of 25 years ago. Somewhat more like the Ramones, it has erected recognizable elements into a kind of trademark sound.
"New Maps of Hell" contains plenty of each element: an articulate torrent of words that makes younger punk bands seem unlettered, a rhythmic attack that roars like the winds carrying the words a guitars that flash like lightning and crack like thunder.
"Maps" follows 2004's "The Empire Strikes First," one of Bad Religion's strongest storms to date. But the commitment of the band- epitomized by the brisk, intelligent anger of lead singer Greg Graffin- lifts tracks like the churning "New Dark Ages" and the uncharacteristically mid-tempo (and personal) "Honest Goodbye" well above the hack-and-slash polemics of neo-punks who have just recently discovered a world outside their own neuroses.
It's one thing for a band to merely manage to stay together for 20-plus years, but it's an entirely different thing altogether to effortlessly remain relevant and vital along the way. Bad Religion has already proved their skill, releasing solid albums every few years for a while now, and New Maps of Hell is no different. It finds that the guys don't just still have it, but they sound goddamn rejuvenated, bristling with electric energy and undeniable fervor -- their sharpness ultimately a testament to all the years playing together, especially in the complementary songwriting skills of Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz. Though their discography is already ripe with anthems, this entire record is a call to arms, where Bad Religion, still obviously discontented by much around them, urge the apathetic to finally take a stand. The band's richly textured, melodic hardcore arrives in full force, sweet vocal harmonies and crisp rhythms melding into invigorating track after invigorating track. "Requiem for Dissent" is overt, calling to "raise the rebel from his grave," while other songs further zero in on usual topics like the never-ending war, dissatisfaction, and government corruption. Even amid Graffin's normal dose of scholarly observations, it's the music that really stands tall. Cuts like "52 Seconds" and "Murder" are quick jolts of pounding hardcore to get one's blood boiling. Elsewhere, the urgent professions of "Heroes & Martyrs," "New Dark Ages," and the excellently layered "Dearly Beloved" effectively kick in with charging guitars and machine gun drumming, relying more on big and tuneful choruses to get the fists in the air. Even when the band veers a bit from the blueprint, it works, and the raw and dirty "Honest Goodbye" -- more like a '90s alternative rock song with emotion laid bare in Graffin's steady voice -- is an absolute standout. Leave it to the graying punk rockers to inject a much needed shot of adrenaline into the scene and show the kids how it's still done.
original source [ here ]