So even though Bad Religion left for the exotic lands of major labels, Epitaph still had the rights to the early album and thus All Ages was born. If you needed any proof as to the power of a band to righteously rock you with pulverizing riffs and sweet, sweet harmonized choruses, you need look no further. From the very beginning Bad religion could seamlessly blend melody, power, and an erudite lyrical bent that was progressive and wise and clever and I might as well overuse righteous because, well..it was all that and more.
And it’s a good thing this came out when it did, because despite my love for Stranger Than Fiction, Bad Religion hit a bit of a tough streak after that with lackluster albums like The Grey Race, No Substance, and The New America. So for me, who had yet to dive into the earlier stuff, No Ages was a treasure trove of amazing songs like “I Want to Conquer the World,” “You Are (The Government),” “Generator,” “Suffer,” and “Atomic Garden,” not to mention the original “21st Century Digital Boy” and so many others it feels like it never ends. Add two unreleased live tracks for killer cuts “Do What You Want” and “Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell” and you have way to many classic for a band that would regain its wings with 2002’s The Process of Belief.
I guess if you’re going to pull my arm there’s a case to be made that Bad Religion’s songs eventually kind of…blend into one another. I get it, but listening to All Ages you can hear so many permutations of what the band excelled at it’s astounding. And to be frank…I can listen to them all day, so the more the merrier.