once upon a time pitchfork media reviewed los angeles is burning ….

By on Sep 18, 2007 in Music

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Read the article here.

“The irony of it all is that the band’s call-and-response vocal arrangements are straight out of a Baptist church house, as are the rich harmonies and the reliance on one man– in this case, Graffin– to testify to (and for) the congregation. Bad Religion’s magic doesn’t stem as much from their political lyrics as from the airtight arrangements and thick, sweet harmonies that bring the lyrics to you, and interestingly, are also the antithesis of the social rebellion the band advocates. A case could be made (and sometimes I make it) that the band resorts to the very things it deplores in order to get across a message, and that in the process, they demand a kind of allegiance that a cynic might call unhealthy. But if Graffin and Gurewitz are willing to return to the well to help the innocent climb out, the end certainly justifies the means. “

Um, what?

Just because they use musical techniques developed in a church (which ps – everyone does because that’s how music developed) doesn’t mean they “resort to the very things [they] deplore”? I don’t even understand what they are talking about? You can’t have airtight arrangements and harmonies if you are an indie band or advocate for a social rebellion? The formualic songs written by record company execs in no way resemble Bad Religion. Pop music isn’t evil in itself. I mean who doesn’t like the Beatles? Have you heard the Ramones? Have you listened to Buddy Holly at a really fast speed … oh wait, that IS the Ramones.

Punk rock and social rebellion are about creating the world you live in and not just going along with the corporate, powerful, self-serving way. That does NOT mean doing something just because it’s against authority. It means thinking about the actions that you take, the way you vote, the things you say. Sometimes those things may be in line with “authority;” sometimes not. The key thing is that it involes thinking and thoughfully doing things your way. And that’s exactly what Bad Religion does and has done for 18(?) years.

Perhaps ironically, blink 182 said it best: (I’m paraphrasing here) a kid who won’t listen to anything because it’s on the radio is just as bad as a kid who will only listen to something because it’s on the radio.

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