Bad Religion - The Gray Race [Germany reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Bad Religion

Bad Religion: The Gray Race [Germany reissue]The Gray Race [Germany reissue] (2007)
Bad Religion

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: xcarlupanddiexxcarlupanddiex
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In a time where music is more downloaded than sold, major labels try to steal those few bucks to fan by reissuing older albums, or even recent ones. I am quite pissed when I see record labels reissuing a CD after six months it came out, with a couple of shitty sounding demos and so called "rare" son.
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In a time where music is more downloaded than sold, major labels try to steal those few bucks to fan by reissuing older albums, or even recent ones. I am quite pissed when I see record labels reissuing a CD after six months it came out, with a couple of shitty sounding demos and so called "rare" songs, or a bonus DVD filled with empty content.

Now, Sony BMG is doing a similar thing in Germany, reissuing an 11-year-old album. I must say, this is something I can understand: Bad Religion are so hyped, they had a brand new disc come out, and by reissuing this CD, I am quite sure Sony BMG is trying to make some extra cash by changing the cover artwork to an old CD. It's okay; I am a fan and bought this. It was also sold at a fair price and I am a serious Bad Religion nerd, even tough not the kind that spends 100 dollars on eBay to get the first press of Into the Unknown on vinyl.

Now, to the serious things. The Gray Race was a real great melodic punk album, and even tough Brett Gurewitz said this is what he considers the worst Bad Religion album, I think this is still a solid release. It was first released in 1996, when Bad Religion were huge in Europe and toured with the Sex Pistols. Gurewitz was out of the band to take care of the cash that entered thanks to the Offspring, Rancid and NOFX, and Bad Religion was on the dirty European roads supporting this album. MTV, especially in Germany but also in Italy, France and Spain, gave great space to the videos of "Punk Rock Song" and "A Walk," and I even remember when Greg Graffin and Jay Bentley sat down for an interview with an MTV VJ during a summer festival. It was a nice time for punk rock.

The album has some ups and downs, but only on a first listen, becase you get the hella catchy choruses of "Punk Rock Song,", "Drunk Sincerity" and "Pity the Dead" and think this is a pop disc and the rest is garbage. But it has some great anthems like "Them and Us," "Parallel" and "Cease," which might be unknown Bad Religion songs, but still so good.

I am not suggesting to pick this album up; on the contrary, if you do own the first press do not waste money on this like I did (it has the same songs aside from a German language "Punk Rock Song," no bonus tracks, and not even remastered stuff), but if you were born in the late `80s or early `90s, and want to feel the spirit of punk music in those years, this is a great release to know what was going on.


People who liked this also liked:
Bad Religion - SufferBad Religion - Stranger Than FictionBad Religion - New Maps of HellBad Religion - No ControlBad Religion - Against the GrainBad Religion - 80-85Bad Religion - The Gray RacePropagandhi - Supporting CasteRise Against - Revolutions Per MinutePropagandhi - Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
borntaloze (September 13, 2007)

they lost me when this album came out. although i did dig empire strikes first.

my brother in law gave me a copy of this on vinyl recently after someone had given it to him and i tried to give it away to someone else and they wouldn't take it. now i'm stuck with it.

punkgato (September 13, 2007)

Also...there's no way in hell that this record is better than How Could Hell Be Any Worse, No Control, Suffer, Against The Grain, or Generator...because thats just a ridiculous idea!

punkgato (September 13, 2007)

It's pretty apparent that most folks giving this record high marks ARE fanboys...which usually means a delusional inability to admit when a (their) band makes a mediocre album, which The Grey Race very much is! I love this band, the songwriting, the lyrics, and the melodies...but it is a terribly boring record, the one that followed it was even worse, and don't get me started on how bad New America was!

It's kinda like the dorks who still stick up for Metallica!

miff (September 12, 2007)

i bought a reissue of ignites our darkest days (ie a limited tour edition) and i only got 2 extra tracks one being a demo of bleeding. however i only got it as i dont have the origional and it was cheaper than the origional. but still only one different song is pretty weak

Scruffy (September 12, 2007)

Also, I'm going to admit that, if I'm a fanboy for any band, it's gonna be Bad Religion. There's very little in their catalog that I will slight at all. I think they're a phenomenal band, working within a recognizable framework, yet introducing intriguing new ideas with each album. And there are very few pop songwriters in the history of rock and roll that can touch Graffin and Gurewitz, especially when you consider the consistency and volume of their output over two decades.
So, basically, I'll agree with anything positive you say, and disagree with most of the negatives.

Scruffy (September 12, 2007)

That's odd. For me, the one-two-three punch of Drunk Sincerity, Victory and Come Join Us, followed by the powerhouse that is Cease, is a really awesome part of the album as well. I'll agree that some of the middle isn't as good as the bookends, but I do love me some Empty Causes, Pity The Dead or Spirit Shine.

Spazner (September 11, 2007)

I think it's pretty telling that the views are so polarized on this album. Personally, I always felt the first third is extremely solid, but the intensity falls off SO fast after the first five songs. It never fails: Songs like "Them and Us" and "Parallel" suck me in, but by the time "Drunk Sincerity" wraps up I'm hardly paying attention.

david_arquette (September 11, 2007)

This is by far my favorite BR record, and it's been a huge part of my life.

salmonlips (September 10, 2007)

for me this was the best bad religion album. i bought it when it first came out, from some guy who i think stole it from a store. i can't be sure, but he was shady.

it was all straight ahead punk, with some fast beats (at the time).
it was dark, melodious and damn catchy. i still listen to this cd, and this is the only bad religion cd i can listen to over and over again without skipping every song (although i don't really like spirit shine).

i came into cease a lot more when i heard the piano only version from graffins solo cd, went back and listened to it on the grey race, and ended up listening to the cd over and over again....

if you don't like come join us, you should be gutted

-Strewtho- (September 9, 2007)

Frogger beats out Raise your voice because it's shorter and doesn't have some German douche Campino singing in it.

I don't mind No Substance. The best song is In So Many Ways.
The only songs that I don't like are Hippy killers, all fantastic images, raise your voice.

Problematiclogic (September 9, 2007)

Oh, and Hear It is one of the best BR songs ever.

Problematiclogic (September 9, 2007)

Kinda pointless review, but this is a good album.

Probably the best from the non-Brett days. Has some of Graffins catchiest hooks as well.

"Nobody Listens" and "Spirit Shine" are terrible. "Them And Us", "Pity The Dead" and "Drunk Sncerity" are fantastic. And the rest are good.

TheMike (September 9, 2007)

On No Substance? In SO Many Ways is definitely a good one. Strange Denial is pretty sweet, too. I really like Sowing the Seeds of Utopia as well. Shades of Truth as well.

Scruffy (September 9, 2007)

In So Many Ways is the best song on No Substance because it's the best Bad Religion song, period.

JerryCola (September 9, 2007)

I think Strange Denial and the Same Person are the best songs off of No Substance.

KungPowza (September 9, 2007)

Definitely Hear It

fallingupwards84 (September 9, 2007)

i really like The Biggest Killer In American History, Shades Of Truth, Hear It, Mediocre Minds, Same Person

but i will agree that Raise Your Voice is one of their worst

LarKiNnN (September 9, 2007)

What is the best No Substance song in your opinion?

I'll go with... Let's say... Strange Denial

fallingupwards84 (September 8, 2007)

Stranger Than Fiction is by far BR's weakest album... the song Stranger Than Fiction is one of their worst

on the other hand, i think No Substance - while certainly not their best album - was a strong effort. there are quite a few really good songs on there

JerryCola (September 8, 2007)

I'm more forgiving with Frogger because was written by Greg Hetson and only appeared on an EP where as Raise Your Voice was a single from No Substance and was written by Greg Graffin.

Scruffy (September 8, 2007)

I can't believe all of you saying you prefer Frogger! Really? "I'm playing Frogger with my life" is preferable to "It's our daunted restraint that keeps us silent in shame. It's our nature to be adversarial and free. Our evolution didn't hinge on passivity"?

-Strewtho- (September 8, 2007)

Frogger is bad but I can't take the "Fa Fa Fa Fa!"

I don't know about other countries but here this album is budget priced at $10, really worth picking up.

AdamBlue (September 8, 2007)

I am a huge Bad Religion fan, and I will say this is one of my favorite BR albums. It's mainly just 'punk rock'. Not much experimentation to it, just straight up 'punk rock'. I love Grey Race and Them and Us, and hearing Come Join Us live was awesome...

Bad Religion albums have Greg songs, and then have Brett songs. Just look at it as an album with just Greg songs.

But honestly, it's the best out of the major releases. STF was nice, but had too much happy crap.

Just to see where I'm coming from, I think is the best, followed by this TPoB and then the beginning trilogy; Suffer, No Control, AtG.

bathroom_surgery (September 8, 2007)

I can't belive how people hate this album cause brett's not on it, does anyone remember Empire Strikes First which is the worst BR ever.

JerryCola (September 8, 2007)

I'll take Frogger over Raise Your Voice anyday...

mustard (September 8, 2007)

Score is for the fact that 2 songs from this album were in crazy taxi

Scruffy (September 8, 2007)

"I agree that "Raise your voice" is the worst BR song released on an album."

"Frogger", my friend. "Frogger."

-Strewtho- (September 8, 2007)

Pretty good album, beefier production that doesn't sound too polished, it's a nice change. The lack of Brett songs is noticeable but I wouldn't skip a track, unlike STF (Television is terrible).

I agree that "Raise your voice" is the worst BR song released on an album.
There's bigger turds called "Follow the leader" and "Lose As Directed" but those are B-sides.

Scruffy (September 7, 2007)

Or The Gray Race is one of, if not THE best Bad Religion albums. Granted, the absence of Brett is disappointing, but this album works almost as a concept album. Thematically, the songs are linked more than they've ever been. The melodies, riffs, solos and topival variety is off the charts here. Come one. If you don't like this album, but like other BR stuff, you're CHOOSING not to like it.

punkgato (September 7, 2007)

The Grey Race through New America should be avoided by everyone! This record is worse than bad...it's generic and boring, good thing Brett came back to write the jams!

Cos (September 7, 2007)

Totally good album. My favorite Brett-less disc.

Note to our German friends: tough ≠ though. Spell check won't catch that one either. Try running it through babelfish next time.

punk_rawk_show (September 7, 2007)

One of the first BR albums i ever received. Not a bad album but definitely not their best.

mikeshitter (September 7, 2007)

Score is for Drunk Sincerity

ABCDEFUCK (September 7, 2007)

Mediocre Bad Religion album. A little better than No Substance, A New America and the last 2 albums. For you people that think this is one of their best, seriously pick up one of the older albums.

HB_Dad (September 7, 2007)

This is actually one of their best albums in my opinion. When it originally came out, I wasn't epecting much considering the very public split of Brett who left for other sited reasons then than "managing Offspring" or whatever the story/excuse is now. I wasn't terribly into Stranger Than Fiction which was a bit soft for me overall (Better Off Dead ruled though). When I bought the CD that release day morning, and I popped it into my car stereo as i ran late for work, I was floored.

Anyway, the album is very moody and dark (much like the Generator-era), but the songs were at the same time very uplifting, mostly fast and yet had very heavy production (more than anything else they have ever done) with cool guitar layering and thick drum kicks. The reason for no remastering on this album is it is entirely not necessary.

The best thing of all is this CD has the song "Parallel" which is my favorite BR song ever.

I am surprised Sony didn't tack on any of the B-Sides from the album. A couple of them appear on the Punk Rock Song EP (which I won by the way) and aren't bad.

What's funny is the surprise I had going from STF to this album was of similar but opposite effect when they released the steaming pile known as No Substance right after this one..

MikeStupid (September 7, 2007)

Possibly the most underrated album of the 90s. Score is for "Cease."

JerryCola (September 7, 2007)

Raise Your Voice is also one of their worst... FAH FAH FAH FAH??? C'mon, what were they thinking?

I can't imagine why "I Love My Computer" made it onto New America but a song like "The Fast Life" was only a b-side for that album.

baseball (September 7, 2007)

wow i haven't thought about that song in a while

easily worst BR song, i can hardly listen to that song

fallingupwards84 (September 7, 2007)

i really like I Love My Computer

smelltheglove (September 7, 2007)

Worst BR song...I Love My Computer.

coldwaffles (September 7, 2007)

no point in this review.

JerryCola (September 7, 2007)

I think the only song I don't like from this album is Ten in 2010.

Punk Rock Song is kind of cheesy also but I still like it.

Also, I like Pity The Dead but it has some rather morbid lyrics for being a bouncy fast paced punk song; I don't think the music fits the lyrics that well.

fallingupwards84 (September 7, 2007)

Brett's a douche for saying this album is BR's worst... it has so many classics, and contains some of their greatest songs ever

Gray Race, Them And Us, Cease, Come Join Us, Pity The Dead, Ten In 2010... all perfect songs

mattp330 (September 7, 2007)

definitly the best album without brett. no substance was awful, save of one or two tracks and even though new america was step up, the songs weren't very interesting, but didn't have as many flat out bad songs as substance

baseball (September 7, 2007)

this album's solid

not close to their best stuff there's at least a couple songs on here that rank in my favorite BR songs

nameless (September 7, 2007)

This album is good for the BR dark ages. Score is for no bonus tracks.

Ravnos (September 7, 2007)

Brett Gurewitz says this is the worst BR album because it was their first without him. I personally think it was the strongest of their Brett-less albums, and possibly even the best of their major label years. It also has a few of my favourite songs (Cease, Parallel, Streets of America). You shouldn't go out of your way to get this reissue unless you don't already have the original, though.

Torgo (September 7, 2007)

I bet the first press of Into the Unknown on vinyl goes for a lot more than $100. Score is for that album

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