Bad Religion - Against the Grain (Cover Artwork)

Bad Religion

Against the Grain (1990)


On the heels of two outstanding albums, Bad Religion released what is quite possibly their finest album. This whole album is a question about the things that mark us as human, whether it be lust ("Get Off"), courage ("Walk Away"), beliefs ("Faith Alone"), or general insecurity about the future ("21st Century Digital Boy").

This album seems quite a bit more personal than any of their previous work, and they question themselves as much as outside forces. You can almost hear Graffin's disgust with himself in "Get Off" or Mr. Brett beginning to tire of drug addiction ("Anesthesia"). This was the peak years of Graffin/Gurewitz, before the break up (well, before the BIG break up at least), before the Offspring, before the fights, before famous producers, this IS Bad Religion at it's finest.

Not only were the lyrics good, but the music was Bad Religion at their most inspired. Hetson and Gurewitz actually seem to be playing off of each other, two guitar parts playing different lines (again, check out "Anesthesia"), and Bentley playing off of that. Let's not forget about Finestone (my favorite B.R. drummer) who sounds like he's having a ball.

They have release many fine albums, both before and since, but this one is the only one that makes me shiver. Fuck Nirvana, this was the album of the 90's.