Every band starts somewhere. Some early works can be embarrassing, or drastically different from their more current work. The latter is true with Bad Religion's first ep. "Bad Religion" is a scathing and brutal piece of hardcore punk at its absolute finest. This EP shows that before the 3 guitar assault and "oozin' ah's" was a genuine d.i.y. punk band from L.A. The general sound of the EP is very raw and naked. There is no sugary coating or clean exterior to speak of. That is what intrigues me the most about this EP though, the way that it sounds so raw and true. This is without a doubt, a must have. Whether you hate the current Bad Religion or not, you have to hear this EP. Find "80-85" or the "How Could Hell Be Any Worse" reissue to hear the ep in its (remastered) entirety.
"Bad Religion" kicks off the ep with the trademark buzzsaw guitar sound of Brett Gurewitz. Greg Graffin's snarls out the lyrics while Jay Ziskrout and Jay Bentley hold up the rhythm section excellently. This version differs from the one heard on "Back to the Known" in both sound and structure. The guitar plays throughout the whole verse, unlike the stop and go way that the "Back to the Known" version is played. And of course, it sounds a lot more raw. A great opener and one of my favorite songs on the EP.
"Politics" comes in blazing afterward and speeds things up. Brett's style is much more chaotic than what fans of newer Bad Religion would be used to, but it works oh so well here. Greg's angry delivery and overall intensity are also great. "Politics" is also a pretty well-written song and shows early signs of the potential of Bad Religion. Another great track.
"Sensory Overload" is my least favorite track on this ep, There isn't much interesting or innovative except for the intro. Lyrically it's nothing special either. Overall, it's a pretty substandard punk song, which is a bit of a disappointment after the first two songs. Things get better though...
Next up is my all-time favorite Bad Religion song. "Slaves" opens with bass then kicks into a full speed punk onslaught. The infectious chorus will get stuck in your head and it's still one of my favorite punk guitar parts (despite its simplicity). It's an intense and driving song. This is my favorite on the Ep. If you get the chance, watch the 1980 performance of this song on the "Live at the Palladium" dvd.
"Drastic Actions" is a slightly different song than the others on this EP. The song starts out slow but eventually picks up and becomes a much faster and all around harder song. Greg's almost paranoid sounding yells at the climax of the song are extremely chilling and must be heard to believe. It's a very different song than the others on the ep, but that's what's so good about it. I think the lyrics are well written and on a subject that Bad Religion never really went back to. A very good song. One of the best on the album
"World War III" in all it's 50 seconds of splendor is a killer punk song. Speedy and vicious and all around fun. A great way to end the album after the somber "Drastic Actions."
As always, give me some feedback as to how I can improve my reviews from here.