The Process of Belief

After a long hiatus dealing with various personal demons and attending to the business of his much-respected record label, founding guitarist Brett Gurewitz rejoined Bad Religion in 2001 and the band returned to the studio with a vengeance, producing this bracing jolt of tight, speedy pop-punk. As usual, the group’s songcraft and energy are unimpeachable; songs like "Evangeline" and "Destined for Nothing" showcase the band’s trademark aggro-punk attack, while "Sorrow" brings a soaring melody to the mix and "Sorrow" starts off in a loping reggae mode before sliding off into high-stepping punk. What remains interesting, and maybe a bit strange, are the band’s lyrical obsessions—above all, its fierce antagonism to religion in any form. They might want to consider renaming themselves Religion Bad. But they do address a couple of other issues on this album as well, including the environment and filial angst.