Life of Waste: Doc. 3
Hey, everyone! Happy (almost) Halloween! Now that we have finally started to get some fall weather I can say – it is my favorite season – bonfires, cheesy sweaters, delicious carb loaded food (trying to lay off the carbs, am I projecting?), and alas, the time of feeling nostalgic with music. Following this prompt – great albums that have a glaring flaw.
Since when we decided we were going to do this prompt I’ve have been wracking my brain trying to think of what albums I believe to be solid, but have an almost fatal flaw. For some reason this was incredibly difficult for me. Over the past week or so while I’ve been thinking about this prompt one record keeps coming back to me, and I have been resisting the urge to write about this record because I think I have a very unpopular opinion. So, I’ve had some wine and now I am ready to tell if you about a record I believe to be very solid, with one (well, maybe a couple) exception(s):
Bad Religion’s The Process of Belief, has always held a special place in my heart. The Process of Belief was Bad Religion’s 12th studio album, and to the average Bad Religion fan probably not their finest work. However, I believe this record holds merit in several ways. For one, this album marked the return of Brett Gurewitz, a founding member of Bad Religion, who had been on a 7 year hiatus from the band. Moreover, this was also the band’s comeback to Epitaph records after leaving their major label. Another distinguishing feature of this album is the addition of drummer Brooks Wackerman (former drummer for Suicidal Tendencies and The Vandals). So, needless to say, there were high hopes for this album, and overall I don’t think they disappointed.
This album was one of the first CDs I ever bought when I was 9 or 10 (showing my age a lil bit…). So, arguably you could say I’m writing this from a place of nostalgia, or some sort of sentimental value, because I understand that if you’re not familiar with the band’s work this album kind of sucks. However, I think it’s a cohesive album and a refreshing release after their two previous albums, No Substance and New America, which were kind of duds all things considered. Tracks like Supersonic, Destined for Nothing, Epiphany, and Bored and Extremely dangerous were tracks that I would blare on repeat as a kid (and still do today).
Here’s the thing: There a couple songs on this record that just flat out fucking suck. For instance, the fourth track on the album, “Broken” makes me want to bash my head against a wall. The main riff sounds like a radio rock anthem, and the lyrics are written about teenage love or something? It just makes me wanna fucking spew. Don’t even get me started on those cheesy acoustic guitars in the verse. I have always skipped that song on my CD player since I was kid. The funny thing is is that “Broken” as well as a few other songs on this record including, “Sorrow” (another bunk song I think), both received a good amount of radio play at the time. It's clear that this track was an attempt to write a song that would be accessible to a wider audience, and perhaps land on the billboard charts. It’s really hard to describe why this song rubs me the wrong way, just gotta listen for yourself.
With age I have also grown to dislike Greg Graffin’s lyrics sometimes. As a kid part of what drew me to this band was the very poetic and seemingly intelligent lyrical content, but now I see it as a little over exaggerated, and sometimes maybe trying too hard. However, I do believe that the that Greg Graffin’s voice and lyrical content is what separates Bad Religion from other long lived punk bands.
So in conclusion: The Process of Belief has always been one of my favorite Bad Religion records. This record, I believe, is a very cohesive punk record with the exception of "Broken" and maybe one or two others. But hey, I think the other tracks make up for it.
Alright, lets talk about stuff that's not Bad Religion:
Haram-When You Have Won, You Have Lost: Talk about a freakin' slam dunk. Haram's debut full length is shaping to be my favorite release so far this year. Deadly hardcore punk sang in Arabic. Haram takes their time using perfectly executed build-ups and fade-outs on this record, which I believe adds to this being not only a great punk record, but also a more in depth listening experience. For instance, the last track "Road to Liberation" has no vocals and presents itself as an outro on the album. Haram is arguably one of most unique, politically driven, and influential bands in contemporary punk and hardcore. Don't mess up, pick up a copy before they sell out!
Gen Pop- S/T 7": Like if Surburban Lawns was really into Minor Threat. Very solid release on Lumpy records! It has a very midwest sound distinctive of bands like CCTV, and I really dig it!