Bad Religion - No Substance (Cover Artwork)

Bad Religion

Bad Religion: No SubstanceNo Substance (1998)
Bad Religion

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: PetePete
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This album seems to have been pretty much ignored; for reasons I really can't understand. Various reviews (written recently) seem to say "No Substance = No Substance" - how wrong they are. If you screamed "Sell-Out" after Stranger than Fiction, you've probably only just let yourself and yo.
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This album seems to have been pretty much ignored; for reasons I really can't understand. Various reviews (written recently) seem to say "No Substance = No Substance" - how wrong they are.

If you screamed "Sell-Out" after Stranger than Fiction, you've probably only just let yourself and your NOFX fan friends listen to Bad Religion again. Ok,ok - enough of that (don't even get me started on EMO).

Admittedly it was the first BR album I actually bought, and well it stayed in the CD player for a hell of a long time. Right from the beginning of the album there seemed to be a lot more solos than the others; I'm not sure if this Brian adding some of himself to the whole sound, whatever it was; it sounded good.

Insanely fast lyrics on the opening track "Hear It" - printing the lyrics on the cover sleeve has never before made so much sense (fortunately Greg's voice is audible unlike many).

Each song on the album gets down to some serious issues and with some great lyrics (that got myself and my cousin hooked on BR in fact) such as "And you sit there and watch the world go around / From your pseudo-benevalent vantage point" from "Sowing the Seeds of Utopia" (I was damn pleased they played this at The Forum, London - back in February).

The Best tracks would have to be: "Hear It", "Shades of Truth", "No Substance", "Sowing The Seeds of Utopia", "The State of the end of the millennium address" (almost like a sequel to "Voice of God is Government") and "In So Many Ways". Don't think this means all the other songs are rubbish; since they're all excellent songs - better than many other bands' "best" songs or whole albums put together.

A brilliant album, slightly better in my opinion than "The Gray Race" but easily a "The New America" killer (each all damn good albums remember). The only thing that rivals it really is the holy Trilogy ("Suffer", "No Control" & "Against The Grain". "Recipe For Hate" being an album that is amazing in its own right regardless. Ignore what the "harder core than thou" (Jello rules by the way) say; get this amazing album.


People who liked this also liked:
Bad Religion - Stranger Than FictionBad Religion - Against the GrainBad Religion - No ControlBad Religion - The Empire Strikes FirstBad Religion - Recipe For HateBad Religion - SufferBad Religion - New Maps of HellBad Religion - The Gray RaceBad Religion - GeneratorNOFX - The Decline

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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.
stayaway (February 6, 2013)

Nice to read about someone else who was first exposed to BR thru this album, as that was the case for me as well. Having just started listening to punk months before, this was the hot new release and most easy for me to find at music stores. A weird introduction at the time for such a heavily influential and highly regarded punk band with it being the band's one predominantly slow album, but a good song is a good song regardless of how fast it is as No Substance is the slowest collection of BR songs in an album (if you exclude Into The Unknown). I've since devoured the rest of the band's catalog, yet this one will always stand out to me .

CountDruckula (November 30, 2011)

This is a GREAT album MUCH better than Recipe For Hate IMHO

majorthreat (October 29, 2011)

Hey TheWise, go fuck yourself and get the fuck off this site!

Alien (December 12, 2009)

This does not deserve a 5. it is easily their weakest effort, and I'm a huge Bad Religion fan. but this is their weakest effort.

outinthered (March 26, 2007)

I agree with TheWise, of all BR's efforts this is the weakest by far, not a patch on most the other albums

TheWise (November 21, 2006)

I have every single BR album and this is just not good. Far too slow. Definately the low point of their Atlantic outing.

wyzo (September 19, 2006)

Dave Smalley said something to the effect that the Atlantic records were great because of their failures.

I like this record, and oddly, though very much a Brett Fan, liked it AT THE TIME it came out.

I think the title track is wonderful, the songs a bit off kilter than usual, I think its one of my favorite produced records, I think the sounds and instruments are distinct and crisp.

My only complaint is it does seem like the band had lost some sense of why they were in this band at their ages. Sowing the seeds of Utopia, a great track I had heard about from their live previews of it, ends with a too true groan from Greg, like 'and end the fucking song, super, next!'.

Even songs that have admittedly weak hooks like The Hippy Killers (I mean how tired does that repetition get!) are in themselves still thematically interesting, and whose weakness is somewhat endearing and worth its existing.

Hell, if the fafa's on Raise your voice (which should never be attempted by any band) had been replaced by instrumentation, it would have been one of their better tunes. Imagine a trumpet or horn section replacing the simply strange fafafafa vocals.


AnaMorph0sIs (March 28, 2005)

Fuck you. This is easily the best record released after the "golden era" (ending with Stranger Than Fiction).

Anonymous (October 23, 2004)

what?? this is by far the WORST bad religion album... limp and uninspired... if it wasn't for the last songs this album would be a total failure... also contains the lamest BR tune: raise you voice...

xLetThemEatWarx (June 18, 2004)

i don't know about this album, the reason i ever even got it is cause my neighbor hated it and since i am a die hard BR fan i took it, i can only think of maybe 2 songs that got my foot tapping, the others...eh just boring and not something to bring out during a party with real punks..definatly doesn't add up to their other work(Recipe For Hate, Stranger Than Fiction, No Control, The Process Of Belief)

Klasticono (September 19, 2003)

I don't understand why this record gets so much shit. Bad Religion's been my favorite band for a decade, and obviously I own all of their material. I think No Substance stands up to it all, and bests most of it (nothing from Suffer through Generator, though).

Musically, this one seemed kind of boring to me when I first heard it, but that was, what, five years ago? I can still listen to the album non-stop now, and I like the musical vibe. It kind of puts you in a different place than other BR albums (that's really hard to explain).

The lyrics, though, I loved. There was some filler here and there, but when Greg was on his game it was amazing. I love Sowing the Seeds of Utopia, The Voracious March of Godliness, Victims of the Revolution, Strange Denial, the Same Person.... Shit, now I have to go listen to this again.

Antacular (August 8, 2003)

Ugh. The first few songs are pretty good, but it's all down hill from there. Yeah, it's a good album. Just not a good Bad Religion album. Big difference. Get this only if you need to complete their set. This was the last 1 I got, for good reason: It's bad.

evilash (November 15, 2002)

this album is great if you pretend that it isnt bad religion

Anonymous (April 26, 2002)

Is this a good album? Yes.
Is this a good Bad Religion album? No.

Anonymous (April 2, 2002)

yes bad religion kicks ass! and jello does rule!!! I'm seeing him on april 7th! yeaaah

SaYnE_Guy (April 1, 2002)

I love Bad Religion as much as the next guy, but come on, 5 stars? Its like Greg wasn't even trying on this album. Aside from Into The Unknown, this is BR's worst album.

ommaddon (March 31, 2002)

very sub-par album. In So Many Ways is the real gem, along with Hear It and Shades of Truth. The rest is bland and lacking the passion the band had always had previously...even on the Gray Race in which Graffin's personal angst serves as fuel for the album. No Substance is by far the band's worst effort to date.

ommaddon (March 31, 2002)

oh come on. I love BR. They are by far my favorite punk band. But, No Substance is, without a doubt, their weakest effort. The band admits the album lacking the passion, and it does. The Voracious March of Godliness is an awful song. It makes me cringe. A subpar album with a few gems---shades of truth, hear it, and In So Many Ways. The latter being a beautiful song.

ChrisGorman2 (March 31, 2002)

At the time it seemed fine, like a decent BR record. However, They began to get back on track with New America and then Process came out and blew all their major label releases away. I like some songs off of here though. Its a good disc, just not near as good as what they are capable of.

Anonymous (March 31, 2002)

yeah, br started sucking with the gray race and it just gets worse with this. not as bad as new america, but still bad.

Anonymous (March 31, 2002)

i disagree, this album is bland as hell. Ive listened to it multiple times and i hate it, it sits in the back of my cd case with other misfit records.

eyeball_kid (March 31, 2002)

Of course this album is good. So Mr Brett left? So what. In my opinion nothing much changed. Anyway more importantly, is that that girl from Third Rock from the Sun on the front cover (i have a copy, so strike me down)?

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