You might consider the years 1996-2000 the lean ones for Bad Religion. After the rousing success of Stranger Than Fiction for Atlantic the band, now without Brett Gurewitz, had to rely on Greg Graffin for the vast majority of the songwriting. And so The Grey Race, No Substance, and The New America merged together into a slightly unfocused, softer and more radio accessible (though they got practically no radio play) period for the band. Strange to say it, but the key to the band’s invigoration was easy: go back to the way things were. And so Brett Gurewitz returned, the band went back to Epitaph, and The Process of Belief came to blow everyone’s doors down.
“Supersonic” immediately erases any taste of the preceding four years, as the band sounds alive and thriving and instantly keyed back into the razor line of aggression and ridiculous melody. Yeah – it’s a Gurewitz song. But having Gurewitz back acted as a catalyst for Graffin’s writing, too: the triple hit of “Destined for Nothing,” “Materialist,” and especially “Kyoto Now!” feature some of his best lyrical melodies. And lyrics. And singing.
But The real kick in the teeth is having Gurewitz back in the band – he contributed half of The Process of Belief‘s 14 tracks, and all of them are monsters. All the band’s subsequent album have a lot of highlights, but none reach the consistent power of this one.