I have some nerdy pastimes. I collect records. I collect comic books. I play fantasy baseball. It is because of this last hobby that I tuned into the fantasy sports station on Sirius Radio. I have been getting smacked around in my league for the last five years since winning the inaugural league championship in 2007 so I was just trying to get some expert info to help me regain my place among the fantasy elite. Either way, they gave me some valuable advice that I will use to help me write this review. They were talking about players who everyone thinks are going to finally have their breakout season after being fairly pedestrian over the course of their career (I don’t think the band I am talking about is at all pedestrian). Basically what was said was that is unwise to anticipate a player to be much different than they have over the last five (or more) years.
What I am getting at is the to expect True North from Bad Religion to be a whole lot different than they have been over the course of their career would border that common definition of insanity. That isn’t a bad thing. How many bands are out there can claim that they have been consistently good for over 30 years? Not a whole lot. Even fewer have been able to stick to the same formula for that long without sounding tired and old. What I think amazes me even more is that a band can write a song (“True North”) about the angst of a person who has been alive for fewer years than they have been a band without sounding pretentious or contrived.
That is what makes the leaders of the 2nd generation of punk special, they are ageless. There has been talk of retirement following this release, but if the record is any indication, there is still plenty left in the gas tank. Among the 16 tracks lies a collection of Bad Religion songs that if it was placed in a time capsule and buried for 30 years would be able to stand beside any Bad Religion song. The same could be said if it was placed in a time machine and sent back 30 years. That is why I will keep on listening as long as they are still making music, the past isn’t dead and there is still a lot to hope for.