16 albums for Bad Religion isn’t a surprise. They’ve been pounding away for more than twenty years and they’ve done it the same way; punk rock through and through. True North isn’t any different than any other Bad Religion album, it’s fast and furious; running at approximately 35 minutes and never wavering in tone or spirit. It’s the subtle twists that go along with that familiarity that make True North a good album.
Among the twists on the album, guitarist Brett Gurewitz takes over lead singing duties from Greg Graffin on “Dharma Bomb”. There’s not much more than that trait that’s obvious but dig deep into this half hour of music and you’ll find them. Most of these songs come in around two minutes (with the exception of a 4-minute track on “Hello Cruel World”.) These two minute tracks always seem longer than they are because the pace of the songs allow more music to be embedded in them. Space is important in a lot of different music, but not with 99% of what Bad Religion does.
True North is Bad Religion as an older more savvier band. They know what they’re good at and they do it well. It’s not just that though, they may be older now but their still defiant. There’s been people who have followed them for at least a decade and people who are just starting to. It’s an extraordinary achievement to think about; while there have been different messages with Bad Religion, the way they’re told and the spirit of which they’re being told has never changed.