Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Felipe M.

We move on to songs 41-45 on our countdown of the top 50 Bad Religion songs of all time.  Let's keep this party going:

#45. "Supersonic"--THE PROCESS OF BELIEF (2002): This song just explodes right off the bat and never lets up.  The music definitely fits the title of this song.  And so do the lyrics if you take them literally, basically is a snapshot of modern society and the need to keep up the fast pace that is demanded of us.  When future societies look back at the early 21st century, they can look to this song for clues as to what it must have been like to live during this time.  

Despite the convenient things that this modern world has given us, very few are actually happy.  If that isn't the damndest paradox...

Quote--"What's time but a thing to kill or keep or buy or lose or live in?"

#44. "God's Love"--THE EMPIRE STRIKES FIRST (2004): First of all, the first time I saw this band live was on DVD, LIVE AT THE PALLADIUM as they were on the heels of releasing this album so naturally most of the songs that were played in that DVD were from EMPIRE.  So I might be a bit biased when I mention a lot of songs from this album.  But also keep in mind that this was released four years after releasing their last CD for major label Atlantic Records.  If PROCESS was a vehicle to foreshadow the direction this band would take for the rest of the band's existence theretofore, then EMPIRE is the album, through culminations in the band's sound and vocals, that would cement the band's status in the punk rock world as the premiere band in the genre.  Every song is simply awesome and every track is very distinct.  

But back to the song, I've always considered "God's Love" to be a satirical outlook on the idea of God and the hypocrisy that "His" followers live justifying all the doctrine-bending that they do to accomplish most of their goals.  While some of "His" followers flourish, many other followers live through endless suffering of, to quote a song from another of my favorite bands, Between the Buried and Me, "Disease, Injury, Madness."  Of course, the punchline to all of this is that all the suffering is just a way that God shows his love. 

QUOTE--"Where is the love?  In a careless creation, when there's no 'above.'"

#43. "The Devil in Stitches"--THE DISSENT OF MAN (2010): I've heard mixed reviews and interpretations about this album, but regardless of others' opinions this is one of the band's best work.  It's a mid-temp, melodic sound track that fully takes advantage of Greg's vocals and the lyrics will have you using your powers of deduction trying to figure out the meaning of this song.  

Brett Gurewitz gets the writing credit on this one, not surprising as his songs tend to be more personal and less political adding a dynamic to the band's work.  Unfortunately, this song has proven to be very perplexing as there is no real explanation and it might be chalked up to something personal that happened to the songwriter.  However, the fact that "White Devil" is mentioned leads to believe that the general consensus that this is a love song might be correct, but seeing that "White Devil" is a play about adultery also opens the door to many possibilities.  

Perhaps it's a love song about a couple meeting for the first time and falling in love, but the catch is that the woman is married (perhaps to a preacher?) and the rest of the song explains the two trying to get together and overcoming that marriage barrier.  If anybody else can give a better explanation, please feel free to express yourself.  

Quote--"Angels fall down without warning [with] cherry lipstick on their teeth and all dangerous curves."

#42. "Let Them Eat War"--THE EMPIRE STRIKES FIRST (2004): First time I heard this song was on the DVD LIVE AT THE PALLADIUM with the rap part being sung live by Tim McIlrath from Rise Against, which I thought was the coolest thing because that band was one of my favorites at that time.  Later I found out that Sage Francis is the one doing the rap part on the studio version, which makes it that much cooler.

So many meanings, but where to start?  One of the times where the band is very overt with their lyrics.  An anti-war song, it is a great point to start when having to figure out how the Military-Industrial Complex work.  There are private businesses whose success depends on wars.  There's a government that overspends for defense contracts, creates military conflicts with the rest of the world, and that government has a growing population of poor people with no real job opportunities to speak of.  How to solve all these issues?  Let's have a war!  

Quote--As the Government and Power Elite, "We've got to kill 'em and eat 'em before they reach for their checks"

#41. "Fuck Armageddon... This is Hell"--HOW COULD HELL BE ANY WORSE (1981)--This song is still played live and usually fans get really excited when listening to the intro.  

Self-explanatory song about minimizing the afterlife and the idea of going to hell for being a "bad" person on Earth.  The song explains the "countries [that] manufacture bombs and guns" and the "smog [that] is ruining my lungs" for the sake of "helping everyone" is the real hell--a hellish society that encourages us to kill our fellow man, that justifies destroying our world, and to  minimize the use of free will and to conform to mainstream religious doctrine.

Quote--"In the end the good will go to heaven up above, the bad will perish in the depths of hell.  [However], how can hell be any worse when life alone is such a curse?"

For Part III of this countdown, click here....  

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