17 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The three-year burst of creative furor that started with Suffer and No Control climaxed with Against the Grain, released in November 1990. Sonically and thematically it falls in line with its predecessors, but there's an overall feeling of grandeur, especially on “Faith Alone” and “21st Century (Digital Boy),” two meaty, mid-tempo sing-alongs that still sound fresh 20 years after they were recorded. Against the Grain also marked the apotheosis of Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz’s interest in using scientific knowledge to understand the human condition. “Modern man, pathetic example of earth's organic heritage,” shouts Graffin on the leadoff song. “Just a sample of carbon-based wastage, just a f*cking tragic epic of you and I.” Bad Religion didn’t use science as a kitschy kind of nerdspeak—the band genuinely believes that to understand the tragedy of mankind, you have to understand the science behind man’s origins. It was the first (and likely only) band to turn evolutionary theory into a punk rock ethic. Forget safety pins and leather jackets—there’s nothing more defiant than embracing academia.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The three-year burst of creative furor that started with Suffer and No Control climaxed with Against the Grain, released in November 1990. Sonically and thematically it falls in line with its predecessors, but there's an overall feeling of grandeur, especially on “Faith Alone” and “21st Century (Digital Boy),” two meaty, mid-tempo sing-alongs that still sound fresh 20 years after they were recorded. Against the Grain also marked the apotheosis of Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz’s interest in using scientific knowledge to understand the human condition. “Modern man, pathetic example of earth's organic heritage,” shouts Graffin on the leadoff song. “Just a sample of carbon-based wastage, just a f*cking tragic epic of you and I.” Bad Religion didn’t use science as a kitschy kind of nerdspeak—the band genuinely believes that to understand the tragedy of mankind, you have to understand the science behind man’s origins. It was the first (and likely only) band to turn evolutionary theory into a punk rock ethic. Forget safety pins and leather jackets—there’s nothing more defiant than embracing academia.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

Michael Mc Metal ,

2nd Best Bad Religion Album

This is a really good album. It has some really catchy songs on it. The album cover is also really cool. The rockets are pointing right and the corn is pointing left. I guess it's supposed to be anti violence/anti right wing politics or something. But it's all good. I'm conservative and all. The best songs are Modern Man, Anesthesia, Faith Alone, Against the Grain, Operation Rescue and of course, 21st Century Digital Boy.

Ben Nyenhuis ,

The best of The Big 3.

Many fans debate which of the first 3 albums after BR reunited, lovingly known as "The Big 3" by fans, is the best. While Suffer is an amazing album that saved punk from its life-support, and No Control is one of the fastest albums ever recorded, Against The Grain is one of those albums that just has it all. While not as fast seemingly as either of the previous 2 albums (except for the song "The Positive Aspect of Negative Thinking"), this is very related to the BR we all know and love today; great melodic tunes, strong messages, and just brilliant songwriting. It's one of those albums that you just remember every song. Not because it is stuck in your head, just because it leaves a mark. It's one of those albums that just leaves you stunned when it's over. In my opinion it is the best of The Big 3, easily in my Top 5 albums of all time, and maybe even #1. This album is perfect from beginning to end. If you really enjoy brilliant songwriting and great Punk roots, I don't think you can get any better than this one. 5/5, A+, whatever, just get everything and drown in perfection.

RatherBeSurfing82 ,

Great Album

Great piece of music but not for beginner Bad Religion fans. I recommend to start with Suffer. If you’re not ready for that sound (for some, it’s an acquired taste), then start with either True North, New Maps of Hell, Dissent of Man, or Stranger Than Fiction

More By Bad Religion

You May Also Like