silentbob Out of all of the Southern California hardcore punk bands of the early '80s, Bad Religion stayed around the longest. For over a decade, they retained their underground credibility without turning out a series of indistinguishable records that all sound the same. Instead, the band refined their attack, adding inflections of psychedelia, heavy metal, and hard rock along the way, as well as a considerable dose of melody. Between their 1982 debut and their first major-label record, 1993's Recipe For Hate, Bad Religion stayed vital in the hardcore community by tightening their musical execution and keeping their lyrics complex and righteously angry.

Bad Religion formed in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles in 1980, comprising guitarist Brett Gurewitz, vocalist Greg Graffin, bassist Jay Bentley, and drummer Jay Ziskrout. Gurewitz established his own record company, Epitaph, to release the band's records. Between their self-titled EP and their first full-length record, Peter Finestone replaced Lishrout as the group's drummer. How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, their debut album, was released in 1982 and it gained them some attention on the national U.S. hardcore scene. After its release, the group's lineup changed, as bassist Paul Dedona and drummer Davy Goldmen joined the group. Into The Unknown, the group's second album, appeared in 1983. Featuring a vaguely psychedelized sound and several keyboards, the album was musically impressive, yet it made many of their fans angry and the band's following decreased dramatically.

In the meantime, the band's lineup was undergoing some more shakeups. Gurewitz had to take 1984 off to recover from various substance abuse problems, leaving Graffin as the band's only original member. In addition to Graffin, the 1984 incarnation of the band featured former Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson, bassist Tim Gallegos, and returning drummer Peter Finestone. Bad Religion's next release, the harder, punkier Back to the Known EP restored faith among the group's devoted fans. After its release, the group went on hiatus for three years.

When Bad Religion returned in 1987, the band featured Gurewitz, Graffin, Lishrout, Hetson, and Finestone. They released Suffer the following year, a record that re-established the group as prominent players in the U.S. underground punk/hardcore scene. No Control (1989) and Against The Grain (190) By the time of their 1993 album, Recipe For Hate, alternative rock had become popular with the mainstream; in addition, the band's following was quite large. These two factors contributed to Bad Religion signing a mjor-label contract with Atlantic Records. Recipe For Hate was originally released on Epitaph but it was soon re-released with the support of Atlantic. The group's first proper major-label album was 1994's Stranger Than Fiction;it was also Gurewitz's last album with the group. Before the release of Stranger Than Fiction, Epitaph had a unexpected hit with the Offspring's Smash, causing Gurewitz to spend more time at the label; reports also indicated that he was unpleased with Bad Religion's major label contract. The group replaced Gurewitz for their supporting tour, which proved to be their most successful to date.
silentbob --Punk Rock Song--

have you been to the desert?
have you walked with the dead?
there's a hundred thousand children being killed for their bread
and the figures don't lie they speak of human disease
but we do what we want and we think what we please
have you lived the experience?
have you witnessed the plague?
people making babies sometimes just to escape
in this land of competition the compassion is gone
yet we ignore the needy and we keep pushing on
we keep pushing on
this is just a punk rock song
written for the people who can see something's wrong
like ants in a colony we do our share
but there's so many other fuckin' insects out there
and this is just a punk rock song
(like workers in a company we do our share
but there's so many other fuckin' robots out there)
have you visited the quagmire?
have you swam in the shit?
the party conventions and the real politic
the faces always different, the rhetoric the same
but we swallow it, and we see nothing change
nothing has changed...
10 million dollars on a losing campaign
20 million starving and writhing in pain
big strong people unwilling to give
small in vision and perspective
one in five kids below the poverty line
one population runnin' out of time
silentbob --Victory--

the velveteen and oaken soothed the lonely child
the parents watched the escort take him while they stood outside
the priest was kind and gentle as he positioned his head
the pain was like brimstone, but the kid hardly bled
instinct over intellect
it erupts from deep inside
history is laughing at us
plotting its discovery
victory, victory
blame it on the victory
among the parade crowd there stands a decorated man
remembering how he helped to save this sacred land
his helpless enemy was wounded, both hands raised with hope
he killed him without second thought, with brute force and a rope
so many times, so many lives
test the other side
waiting to see what the maker has in mind
the unsuspecting commoners hum diligent each day
they wallow in their father's sins, as time passes away
the crimes are without motive but they ignore all restraint
the evil sits inside them torpid timing its escape
silentbob --Faith In God--

it's all right to have faith in god
but when you bend to their rules and their fucking lies
that's when I start to have pity on you
you're living on a mound of dirt,
but you can't explain your reason for existence so you blame it on god
so much hatred in this world and you can't decide
who's pulling the strings so you figure it's god
your whole life foreshadows death
and you finally realize you don't want to die alone so you'll always have god
it's all right to have faith in god
but when you bend to their rules and their fucking lies
that's when I start to have pity on you
it's all right to have faith in god
but when you bend to their rules and their fucking lies
that's when I start to have pity on you
there's people in the world today who say they're jewish, christian and such,
they're all ignorant fools
they'll tell you you can't have your own way
unless you pay money and dedicate your life or you'll be damned in hell
don't be feeble like all of them,
you have your own brain full of thoughts and choices,
so use it don't let them use you
it's all right to have faith in god
but when you bend to their rules and their fucking lies
that's when I start to have pity on you
what's it to you?
who go