Bad Religion

Back to the Known

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If you'd prefer a longer title for Back to the Known, Bad Religion could have called this "back to the punk style that made them famous," but fortunately, they used the songwriting improvements from the unfairly maligned Into the Unknown here. All the punk rockers who bought the LP immediately rushed it to the nearest used bin; but, as a result of this all-important step, this makes the How Can Hell Be Any Worse? LP seem like child's play at various points, and Circle Jerk Greg Hetson's presence doesn't hurt, either. Don’t miss "Yesterday" -- Greg Graffin writes some of the best songs in the punk business. And the new, slower version of "Bad Religion" (originally on their rare debut 7" EP) proves worthwhile, interestingly (it has a totally different feel at this more measured tempo). Out of the faster tunes, only serious self-control will keep you from playing the breakneck "Frogger" less than 20 times the first month you get this. Back to the Known is a great work from a band that was feared lost forever, even with a totally new lineup, and being that they've gone back to punk, there's no reason why their unhappy older fans can't get right back in the game on this one. The few who loved Into the Unknown will find this similar, only without the needless Kansas/Styx/Foreigner keyboards.

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