[[caption-width-right:325:Bad Religion, roughly 30 years ago.]]
--> ''Punk Rock with a thesaurus.''
Bad Religion is a very influential punk rock band from the United States of America, founded in 1979 in Southern California. The original members were Jay Bentley (bass), Greg Graffin (vocals), Brett Gurewitz (guitars), and Jay Ziskrout, who was quickly replaced by Peter Finestone (drums). In the spirit of the Do-It-Yourself ethic held by the punk scene at the time, Gurewitz created Epitaph Records soon after their formation, and most of the band's albums have since been released through this label.
The band is known for its particulary clever use of metaphor, style and vocabulary in the lyrics, as well as their peculiar vocal harmonies. Lyrics are often about philosophical, social or political concerns and tend to be critical, sarcastic, and often times harsh. Song writing is usually done between Graffin and Gurewitz, except for the period of time when the band left Epitaph for the major label Atlantic Records (1993-2001). During this period, Graffin took on sole song writing duties (excluding their major label debut ''Stranger than Fiction'', which was the last album Guerwitz appeared on until 2002). For the album ''No Substance'', generally considered among the band's weakest entries, song writing responsibilities were shared among the other band members. Since Gurewitz's return, he and Graffin have resumed their original song writing duties.
As of 2001, Bad Religion's lineup consisted of Graffin (vocals), Gurewitz (guitars), Bentley (bass), Greg Hetson--formerly of The Circle Jerks (guitars), Brian Baker (guitars), and Brooks Wackerman (drums). Bobby Schayer was their drummer for much of their Atlantic period, but left the band after suffering a shoulder injury. In 2013 Hetson left due to personal problems (divorce) and was replaced by Mike Dimkich.
* ''How Could Hell Be Any Worse?'' (1982)
* ''Into the Unknown'' (1983)
* ''Suffer'' (1988)
* ''No Control'' (1989)
* ''Against the Grain'' (1990)
* ''Generator'' (1992)
* ''Recipe for Hate'' (1993)
* ''Stranger Than Fiction'' (1994)
* ''The Gray Race'' (1996)
* ''No Substance'' (1998)
* ''The New America'' (2000)
* ''The Process of Belief'' (2002)
* ''The Empire Strikes First'' (2004)
* ''New Maps of Hell'' (2007)
* ''The Dissent of Man'' (2010)
* ''True North'' (2013)
!!The Empire Tropes First:
* AcCENTUponTheWrongSylLABle: Lots. A few examples from "Parallel": "Phony [=COLLective progess=], [=ACCepting=] that it's all such a mess", and in the background, "our lives are [=paralLEL=]"... later, "watching as our [=FOUNdations=] crumble away"
* AlbumTitleDrop: ''How Could Hell Be Any Worse?'' on "Fuck Armageddon... This is Hell" and ''The Process of Belief'' on "Materialist".
* AnimatedMusicVideo: "Dream of Unity"
* AudienceParticipationSong: "Sorrow"
* AuthorTract: Although not in a bad way.
* BadassTeacher: Graffin. He's taught university classes at Cornell and UCLA
* BookEnds: On ''Into the Unknown'', sort of. The first song is titled "It's Only Over When..." while the last is called "...You Give Up". The whole phrase (It's only over when you give up) is uttered in the former. While no variation or part of that sentence appears in the latter (making it a case of NonAppearingTitle), some other lyrical excerpts from "It's Only Over When..." appear at the end of "...You Give Up".
* CallBack: ''How Could Hell Be Any Worse?'' is Title Dropped in "Los Angeles is Burning", over two decades later.
** Both ''No Control'' and ''Suffer'' are mentioned in "21st Century (Digital Boy)" on ''Against the Grain''.
** "Punk Rock Song" mentions "Land of Competition" and is itself mentioned in "Kyoto Now!".
** In an inversion, before they were made into songs themselves, "Social Suicide" and "Modern Man" appeared in "Sensory Overload" and "We're Only Gonna Die" respectively. "We're Only Gonna Die" was actually nicknamed "Modern Man" before that title was used for the song from ''Against the Grain''.
* CanonDiscontinuity: ''Into The Unknown'' -- after disappointing sales, it wasn't acknowledged or reissued until it was included in a compilation 27 years later.
* ChristmasSongs: Title of their latest EP, which features [[CoverVersion covers]] of [[CaptainObvious various Christmas songs]] (and a remix of "American Jesus").
* CorruptChurch: "Sinister Rouge", among others.
* CrapsackWorld: "Leaders and Followers", among others.
* DateMyAvatar: song "I love my computer" rolls with this. "...'cause you are just a number and a clever screen name."
* DeadpanSnarker: Graffin's lyrics are usually this (Brett's not so much). Which is strange, because in-person, he's actually pretty laid back and mellowed-out.
* DualMeaningChorus: [[WordOfGod Gurewitz himself]] gives three explanation to "Anesthesia". One particular lyric in that song goes: "I got a little gun, here comes oblivion." It could be about a guy killing his girlfriend, or killing himself but it could also be a metaphor about taking drugs (the little gun here referring to a syringe).
-->“Anesthesia is kind of a short story about a guy and a girl who are in love but the girl named Anesthesia is also a metaphor for drugs. And in that song when he says, I’ve got a little gun, here comes oblivion, the little gun can be a gun. You’re not supposed to know whether or not the guy’s gotta gun and he’s gonna shoot Anesthesia and kill her or you’re not sure if the little gun is a syringe and he’s gonna shoot it in his arm and achieve oblivion that way. There’s several levels … you never really know if he’s gonna shoot her or he’s gonna shoot himself. Or if what it really means is that the little gun is a syringe and he’s gonna shoot himself up with heroin.“
* GodIsEvil: ''And what I'm frightened of is that they call it "God's Love"...''
** "Skyscraper", which tells the Tower of Babel myth from the perspective of the builders.
* GodIsInept: "Better Off Dead", which is basically God apologizing for creating such a CrapsackWorld.
** On the other hand, it may also be a sarcastic reply to people who constantly complain about living in a CrapsackWorld.
* GratuitousGerman: "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiBKFHJnSUI Punk Rock Song]]"
* NewSoundAlbum: ''[[SomethingCompletelyDifferent Into the Unknown]]'' is a ProgressiveRock album. According to Mr. Brett, "not much thought" was put into the album's recording, and the change of style was due to the fact that the band didn't take itself seriously and thought it wouldn't last for very long, so they decided to try and explore some other styles. Two of the members, drummer Pete Finestone and bass player Jay Bentley, quit before the album was recorded because of the change, and the album was met with a great deal of negativity from the fans who embraced the band's previous HardcorePunk sound; only 12 people showed up to see the band introduce the new material. As a result of the poor reception of this material by fans, this album is somewhat considered OldShame by the band members, who named their next release (which returned to HardcorePunk) ''[[DiscontinuityNod Back to the Known]]''. Despite the commercial failure and fan backlash of the album, it actually got positive reviews from critics, and was reissued on vinyl as part of the ''30 Years of Bad Religion'' box set, although it's never been released on CD.
** While most of their albums tended to have their trademark sound, various added elements throughout (mostly based on the time)
*** ''Generator'' featured experimentation (epically with songs like ''Two Babies in the Dark'')
*** ''Recipe for Hate'' added AlternativeRock and grunge elements (that got refined in their next few albums)
*** ''The New America'' feature far more personal lyrics and somewhat more poppy sound
*** ''New Maps of Hell'' is by far their heaviest albums, bordering on AlternativeMetal
* InternalizedCategorism: The song "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVWNDR9gM2E Broken]]" brings up the danger of putting people down, that they might start believing it themselves.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Generally a 5 or 6. With a couple songs (such as "Slumber" and "Sorrow") being a 4.
* OneSteveLimit: Greg Graffin and Greg Hetson and from the original line-up, Jay Bentley and Jay Ziskrout.
* ProtestSong: Almost everything they play.
* RearrangeTheSong: ''Live at Palladium'' DVD has a version of "Cease" performed solely by Graffin on piano. It was based on the version that appeared on his solo album "American Lesson".
* ReligionRantSong: They have lots of these, [[SarcasmMode which comes as a total surprise, given the band's name]].
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Lots of songs, but "Germs of Perfection" is the most blatant example.
** "Beyond Electric Dreams" is another.
** It's really easier to list the Bad Religion songs this trope doesn't apply to. The quality of their lyrics is often half attributed to the fact that they pull out interesting vocabulary and find a way to work it into conventional pop rhyme schemes.
*** Apparently, sometime after Mr. Brett left the band, he'd mock the band for being "the rotting corpse of thesaurus rock" (which was definitely classier than Greg Graffin changing a lyric in Mr. Brett's song Stranger than Fiction to make fun of Gurewitz's struggle with drug addiction whenever it was performed live).
* ShoutOut: Lots of them. For example, in the song "You", the line "there's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend" is taken from "[[Music/TheBeatles We Can Work It Out]]".
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Quite literally a case of DependingOnTheWriter. Graffin's lyrics tend to fall more on the cynical side, while Gurewitz's tend to be more on the idealistic side. There are, however, exceptions to this (from both writers).
* TakeThat: "Hate You" by Gurewitz's brief solo project Daredevils is sometimes considered to be about Jay Bentley.
* TheSomethingSong: "God Song", "Punk Rock Song"
* SpellingSong: "The Empire Strikes First"
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: Brett at the end of "Infected" and entire "Dharma and the Bomb" and Jay towards the end of "Punk Rock Song".
* StopAndGo: "I Want Something More".
* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: Subverted by guitarist/main songwriter Mr. Brett, who owns the record label the band is signed to, but refused multiple offers to sell to a major record label. He even left the band during their years with Atlantic Records. Of course, given that TheOffspring were making Epitaph Records tons of money during this time, he probably didn't need to.
* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: Brett Gurewitz. Subverted in which not everyone uses "Mr. Brett" (which in itself is a subversion, in combining the trope with FirstNameBasis), and he himself doesn't seem to mind.
* TitleTrack: Most of their albums.
* VerbalTic: Before a solo, Greg tends to yell "One two!" or "Let's go!"
* WarIsHell: "Heaven is Falling"
* AWildRapperAppears: Sage Francis, making a guest appearance on "Let Them Eat War".