The 10 best Bad Religion songs ranked in order
Funeral For A Friend's Matt Davies-Kreye picks his essential Bad Religion playlist
Since forming in the San Fernando Valley some 36 years ago, Bad Religion have released 16 studio albums and 24 singles, shaping the sound of punk as we know it. We challenged Funeral For A Friend frontman and mega-fan Matt Davies-Kreye to pick the best 10 songs from their back catalogue, in order…
**10. PUNK ROCK SONG (The Gray Race, 1996) **
Matt: "I’d bought The Gray Race because of this song. This was released during the time they were no longer on Epitaph and were on a major label. It's a point in their career in the mid-90s that I actually still give a shit about."
9. WE’RE ONLY GONNA DIE (How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, 1982)
"This song is from their debut album. I actually prefer Sublime’s cover of this, which is pretty weird. I think Sublime really nailed the ferocity of that track and played it with more energy. You can find that on their 40oz. To Freedom (1992). But this is a great song; it's anthemic and very catchy."
8. HEAVEN IS FALLING (Generator, 1992)
"Generator was the first Bad Religion album I got into. When I go back to listen to these records now, I always come back to this album. I think it’s their darkest record they’ve ever done. Thematically, there’s a lot of issues there that deal with America and religion, personal and political conflict. For me, Heaven Is Falling is about the almost poisonous nature of organised religion. Well, in my head, anyway."
7. LAND OF COMPETITION (Suffer, 1988)
"Suffer was one of those albums that, for some reason, took me a long time to ‘get’. I think Land of Competition was the song that really swung me a little bit. I was getting into Generator and things first and I kind of worked my way backwards through their releases. I really love it, and this is one of those songs that really needs you to trash a guitar."
6. I WANT SOMETHING MORE (No Control, 1989)
"When I was 16, I was in London doing work experience. No Control was practically the only thing I listened to on my Walkman. This is a pissed off track about expectations of how much more you want from a relationship and life in general. I massively dig that."
5. RECIPE FOR HATE (Recipe For Hate, 1993)
"The chorus to this album’s title track is great and I love the fact that they got Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam to do the ‘oozin' aahs’ on this recording. It kind of blends the validity of punk and grunge rock together – for Bad Religion to have that kind of input from Eddie Vedder says a lot. I’d been trying to get Funeral to cover this for so many years…"
4. STRUCK A NERVE (Recipe For Hate, 1993)
"I like this so much that I named my punk rock hardcore side project after it! It’s like a bone of contention song, and has such a groove. It reminds me of the times when I was younger listening to records thinking ‘I wanna do a band like this so bad’. The melodies and everything... I’d sing along and I thought I could play punk rock guitar along to it."
3. ANESTHESIA (Against The Grain, 1990)
"This is beautifully constructed and has got amazing chord progressions. I think what I love about this is that it has a weird kind of dubstep vibe. Not dubstep in what we know as ‘wub wub wub wub’; it has a real, open reggae-ish outro with a looseness to it. There's this intensity of the first half of the song, then it drops into this moment of space and clarity. It’s just fucking amazing."
2. 21st CENTURY DIGITAL BOY (Stranger Than Fiction, 1994)
"I’m going to go with the Stranger Than Fiction version, simply because I think the production’s better than the Against The Grain one. When I first saw Bad Religion playing on TV years ago, it was one of the songs they played and I just love the drive of it. And I thought the video was fucking cool. This was back when bands did videos that said something."
1. INFECTED (Stranger Than Fiction, 1994)
"This is from the same album. It’s dark, brooding and grooves along really well. It’s got an amazing, uplifting chorus too. I was really struck by it and how a simple chord structure can really win you over. It’s a bit pissed off, and I just really dig it."
Funeral For A Friend will play their final ever shows at London's Kentish Town Forum on May 20 and 21. For more details, see their Facebook page.