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Wednesday, May 6 1998
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Bad Religion
Bad Religion just won't die. In the last 16 years the band has exploded the definition of the SoCal sound, but the guitar riffs, inventive drumming, and intelligent lyrics made the sanctuary of '80s punk a prison for the group in the '90s. In the late '80s, records like No Control dictated what other punk bands should sound like; sadly, however, Bad Religion stuck with this sound on every release into the '90s. By 1994, the self-parody had become too much for founding guitarist Brett Gurewitz, who retreated to the comforts of his label Epitaph, heroin addiction, and a new description for his old outfit: "The bloody corpse of thesaurus rock."

"Raise Your Voice," the first single from the new full-length No Substance, shows that most of the songwriting ability left with Gurewitz. The tune wavers between a simplistic droning chorus and hollow instrumentation, sounding more like an angry, toothless dog smacking his gums than searing SoCal punk. The "Raise Your Voice" single's second track, "State of the End of the Millennium," is a '90s version of the '82 single "Voice of God Is Govern-ment." The difference is that the original is a brilliant screed against government ills, while the new version is a sad cane-waving geezer rant about the Internet. And now the band's trying to re-create its glory days with a tour stopping at tiny clubs in order to "take it back to the kids." If Bad Religion could only get a cardboard cutout of Gurewitz onstage, the parody would be complete.

-- Robert Arriaga

Bad Religion play Wednesday, May 6, at 9 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. (at Texas). Speedbuggy open. Tickets are sold out; so don't call 621-4455.

About The Author

Robert Arriaga

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