Four presidential administrations later, socio-political firebrand Bad Religion is still making enemies and influencing imitators with its trademark melodic pop punk. Although guitarist/Epitaph founder Brett Gurewitz was suspiciously absent during the Clinton/Atlantic Records era, he re-upped in time for Dubya. One of the most recognizable and replicated voices in the biz, Greg Graffin is forceful and forthright without a lot of frills. Unlike cheap facsimiles who try to cram O.C. harmonies into ill-fitting punk receptacles, Bad Religion employs time-tested vocals on New Maps of Hell that burst out from the high-speed gallop and blend in like wind through luxurious locks. Desperate mechanized filters add a trans-genre fog to "52 Seconds," a lure to those seeking change, while "Requiem for Dissent" and "Submission Complete" are Celtic-based anthems worthy of New Model Army. New Maps is an apocalyptic followup to the act's first release, How Could Hell Be Any Worse? — with our current leader answering the question.
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