Bad Religion

New America [Germany CD Single]

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The single contains two tracks unknown to underprivileged North Americans, though these are more of the band's home demos -- the usual source for overseas B-sides. "Lose as Directed" is a surprise, throwaway '60s pop that sounds like a '70s new wave band covering the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time" (very similar riff -- best hope Allen Klein doesn't call his lawyer). Much better is "Pretenders," which is poorly mixed (the drums are louder than the guitars), but is further evidence that when Graffin writes 20 songs every two years, they're all meritorious. This is a really developed verse I'd like to see American Lesion, his solo side project, do on piano, followed by a multi-voice bridge and simple chorus. More excellence. Note to band: How about a website/gigs-sold B-sides LP for the suffering U.S. fans? You've got at least 20 tracks to fill it with now, and they're worth hearing/having at that.