Bad Religion (USA)

Thorn in society's side for thirty years

The world needs Bad Religion. The icon of melodic HC punk was founded in 1980 because society was broken and needed fixing. After thirty years, fourteen full-length albums, hundreds of gigs and an endless number of songs filled with political rage, society is still going to hell in a handbag, but at least Bad Religion has tried to save it. The band's appetite for fighting is strong as ever, and in the manner of the rest of their 30th anniversary tour, their Ilosaarirock Festival gig is going to prove it. Raise your fists, you crossbuster-clad punk rock kids of all ages, this is what you've been waiting for!

Even many dilettantes can recognise Bad Religion's ubiquitous red-black-and-white logo and the massive 1990s hit Punk Rock Song, but the real significance of these California-punk pioneers is much more profound. In terms of lyrics, Bad Religion is arguably the most important political rock band today; musically, they are at the very top of their genre. Their trademark wall of sound has been imitated on every continent, and vocalist Greg Graffin's style of shouting the lyrics against the audience in a pessimistically melodic manner has been a model for oozes of followers populating the niche between hardcore and punk rock. But Bad Religion has made a stand not only in words, but in actions too. Brett Gurewitz, a founding member who rejoined his old pals in the Noughties, is also the founder of Epitaph, the world's leading independent alternative rock record company.

In the prime of its life, Bad Religion comes to Ilosaarirock Festival with a handful of new war songs from its long-awaited fifteenth album. On their latest releases, Greg Graffin and Mr. Brett have gone back to the extremely furious manner of expression and energetically bittersweet anthems familiar from the early days of their career. The intensity of the band's live performances leaves nothing to hope for, and their glorious past holds enormous numbers of hit, or should we say hitting, songs perfect for adding fuel to your fighting frenzy. And when you know that Bad Religion's line-up at the Ilosaarirock Festival is going to be quite a punk rock dream team – joining the warhorses of Graffin, Gurewitz and Jay Bentley from the original line-up are guitarist Greg Hetson from legendary Circle Jerks and Brian Baker from hardcore pioneer Minor Threat – it's obvious that it's going to be a very, very long wait until July...

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Bad Religion