Bad Religion
Against the Grain


3.5
great

Review

by Neoteric USER (86 Reviews)
November 29th, 2006 | 35 replies | 16,177 views


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


2 of 4 thought this review was well written

Hailing from Southern California, the band have influenced so many bands while mostly influencing the 90s punk revival. They were also one of the pioneers of the prevailing punk sound (meaning The Offspring, Green Day and such). Against The Grain is considered one of the band's unsurpassed albums and with fine reason. The songs have the ability to stick in your head for days and most of the tracks have that "wow" factor around them. This album also gave punks hope for punk in the 90s.

Bad Religion are like candy to me. They are incredibly sweet but too much and it makes you feel pale. Well maybe the band don't make me feel physically sick but when I listen to them too much it can feel samey and I then reach for the skip button. Against The Grain, the start of Bad Religion's 90s releases is the exact same for me. Most of the tracks are nearly two minutes but every one of them sounds quite the same with no variety at all besides a few songs. Unacceptable and Quality Or Quanity are identical for the first few seconds and skipping through the tracks, you begin to notice all the tracks all have a samey feeling to them. Well this isn’t the case for all the tracks, the trend doesn’t apply to a few of them and luckily enough, these ones are the best.

The songs I’m talking about are Modern Man and 21st Century Digital Boy, the finest songs on the album. Modern Man grabs you as soon as it hits the speaker, with it’s melodic lead line and Greg’s sweet vocals (and during the chorus, backed up by chants from the other band members). Instantly catchy and is sure to be the song that gets you on first listen. 21st Century Digital Boy is probably the track people know from this album (as a video was made from the song and it was re-recorded for Stranger Than Fiction). The band lead onto a pop punk song for this song, it’s very basic but god, is it ever so excellent. The chorus has enough catch to keep you in it’s web for months, the lyrics are also quite interesting especially in it’s sing-a-long chorus:

“Cause I'm a 21st century digital boyI don't know how to read but I've got a lot of toys. My daddy's a lazy middle class intellectual. My mommy's on valium, so ineffectual. Ain't life a mystery?”

One of the best bits about Bad Religion for me is Greg’s voice. He doesn’t have a voice that grains on you throughout the album and it has this brilliant rasp to it. His voice makes songs such as Turn On The Light and Get Off sound one hundred times better. I do feel the guitars and bass could have did a bit more but it’s punk so what do you expect? The songs do have some cool noisy solos or a flowing lead line but that’s all really that goes out of a basic power chord. The drums use the same beat over and over again (those who are familiar with The Offspring will get what I mean) but I can’t ask for much cause the bottom line is this is simple punk with pop traces littered throughout. It’s catchy and it’s a nice listen for a while so I really can’t complain. Though with some more variety in the music, this could be more than great.

Overall:
- Catchy punk with pop traces throughout it.
- The lack of variety in the songs can be irritating
- Hard to listen to the whole way through
- But very catchy and melodic

3.5/5



Recent reviews by this author
Pink Reason Cleaning the MirrorThinking Fellers Local 282 Lovelyville
Primal Scream Beautiful FutureCan Future Days
King Crimson DisciplineWilliam Basinski Melancholia
user ratings (560)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
STFDood84 (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Angmar
November 29th 2006



2689 Comments


Good job as usual these guys are a decent punk group.

Intransit
November 29th 2006



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I own the re-release of this. You hit my feelings on the album pretty well, although I think Anethesia, Entropy, and the title track are all classic bad religion songs.

TurnTheOtherWay
November 29th 2006



459 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Bad Religion are like candy to me. They are incredibly sweet but too much and it makes you feel pale.

123
Good review. The album is kinda samey like you said except for the stand-outs (Modern Man, Anesthesia, 21st Century Digital Boy), but the album is only 35 minutes, so it doesn't bother me as much. This is my favorite Bad Religion album.

Two-Headed Boy
November 29th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

To me, this album (and much of BR's discography) is punk at it's finest. I can listen to it in whatever mood I'm in and it's the same quality.

Bueno reivewo, my man. Bueno.

Hatshepsut
November 29th 2006



1997 Comments


Great review sir. Too bad I'm not too fond of Classic Punk.

Tyler
Emeritus
November 29th 2006



7924 Comments


Anesthesia is one of my favourite BR songs.

The Sludge
November 29th 2006



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It may have that classic punk label, but it doesn't have that classic punk sound, actually sounds fresh for even today.
This is a decent album, but tbqh, I got this as my first BR taste after hearing 21st Century Digital Boy. I liked other albums better though.

StrizzMatik
December 19th 2006



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with most of the review, but this is a classic, hands-down. 90% of today's punk rock wouldn't be around without Suffer, No Control, or ATG, and the lyrics are better than most punk bands out there. Read my review of it (the remastered one) for a different take. 5/5 for me.

LifeW4asted
February 10th 2008



46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I bought this album today and listend to it all and read your review could not agree more......

JayVex
July 21st 2010



381 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is far better than a 3.5

Deathcar
November 6th 2010



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The final album in Bad Religion's triumvirate of awesome, basically perfect punk albums.

Gyromania
November 1st 2011



14647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is far better than a 3.5

This.

someguest
March 28th 2012



18876 Comments


and I'l burnnnnnnnn like a roman fuckin' candle

Digging: BABYMETAL - Babymetal

Owantjaaaa
March 29th 2012



2780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ya ya ya ya yaaa

Digging: The Body - I Shall Die Here

Parallels
April 3rd 2012



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

if your soul needs love you can always have my pity
but it looks as though faith alone wont sustain us anymoooooooore

jayfatha
April 3rd 2012



2882 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Every time I look at you I just wanna do it
I can clench my fists right through it but I just wanna GET OFF

Parallels
August 27th 2012



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i dont think so
hes up there with the others layin low

Satellite
August 27th 2012



19816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

re-recording 21st century digital boy was the stupidest thing ever other than no substance

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

Parallels
August 27th 2012



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

original rules

Funeralopolis
August 29th 2012



10450 Comments


surprised by how few comments this album has.

Digging: CunninLynguists - Oneirology



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy