Bad Religion is one of the most influential punk bands of all time. Whether it was their early hardcore punk sound or their more melodic punk sound in their later years, most punk bands heard today have been influenced by Bad Religion. Very few bands have inspired me more than Bad Religion, and very few albums have touched me quite like "Back to the Known."
Chances are that very few people will actually find this in its original form. Most People will hear"Back to the Known" on either "80-85" or the reissue of "How Could Hell Be Any Worse?" I heard "Back to the Known" on the "How Could Hell Be Any Worse?" reissue, and it changed the way I play music.
After the experimental "Into the Unknown", Bad Religion regrouped (albeit without Brett Gurewitz and Jay Bentley) to make a comeback ep. Seamlessly blending the instrumental brutality of "How Could Hell Be Any Worse" and their self-titled ep with melodic vocals and (for the time) excellent production values made "Back to the Known" an incredible record.
The album opens with "Yesterday", which has a slower guitar part than earlier Bad Religion, but it sounds infinitely better. I honestly wish more cd's sound like "Back to the Known". Greg's vocals ae now much more melodic and sound absolutely incredible. A classic, one of my favorites.
"Frogger" opens with some sound bites from the game of the same name, followed by Greg Graffin telling Greg Hetson "Let's go, you spaz." The guitar part is rather dull and the lyrics (written by Hetson) are quite terrible. It's a mildly enjoyable song and the shortest on the ep. It's my least favorite song on the ep though.
Next up is a re-done version of the song "Bad Religion." This version contains pauses between the guitar and vocals. It sounds infinitely more melodic. I prefer this version to the one on their self-titled ep.
"Along the Way." Considered by most Bad Religion fans to be their best song. Not fast by any means, but it flows and has some excellent guitar noodling by Hetson thrown in. The lyrics are excellent, and the song actually abandons the stereotypical Bad Religion drumbeat. A classic, absolutely excellent.
"New Leaf" is the last song on the ep. The infectious beat and chorus are plenty of fun to dance to, but the song itself is pretty lackluster in my opinion. A decent end to an incredible piece of punk rock history.
If you haven't already heard this ep. Do yourself a favor and go buy the "How Could Hell Be Any Worse?" reissue and enjoy this excellent record. Please give me feedback about how I did with this review, this is my first one and I'd like to know how I did. Keep it real.