Bad Religion - 80-85 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Bad Religion

80-85 (1985)


The early Southern Californian Hardcore scene was put on the map by bands such as The Germs, Circle Jerks, T.S.O.L., and, most notably, Black Flag. But in 1980 a 15 year old intellectual giant and a group of angry young punk rockers decided to form a band, the band we now know to be Bad Religion.

Well, enough with your "punk rock history lesson". This is obviously a collection of tracks from Bad Religion's first s/t EP, first album "How Could Hell Be Any Worse?", and second EP "Back To The Known". Noticeably missing is their 1983 experimental rock album "Into The Unknown", deemed not fitting to this collection by the band. The first EP and the first full length featured a 16 year old Greg Graffin snarling out angry intellectual lyrics with a backing band as furious as any of the time. With classic tunes like "Fuck Armageddon.....This Is Hell", "We're Only Gonna Die", "Sensory Overload", and "World War III" the band pumps out a then unique blend of Germs-ish hardcore and melody. Melody being an aspect that would eventually magnified greatly of course.

The main difference between Bad Religion and most other bands of the period were Greg Graffin & Mr. Brett's ability to churn out fluid and almost beautiful vocal melodys. Songs like "American Dream" feature harmonic vocal melodys dring the chorus. For the most part, however, the first album is straight up SoCal hardcore at it's finest.

In 1984 the band returned with the EP "Back To The Known", which is more of a post-hardcore, melodic rock album than their early hardcore stuff. Songs like "Along The Way" and "New Leaf" feature a less screamy, more melodic Greg Graffin on vocals and an obviously well practiced Bad Religion backing him.

This is an excellent album to own if you are a Bad Religion fan or a fan of hardcore. If you need an introduction to Bad Religion, then go elsewhere, like "Suffer" or "No Control". But this compilation pays tribute to the Bad Religion that most of us never had the priviledge of seeing. Luckily they still play the songs live quite frequently. A definite classic.