Bad Religion – Recipe for Hate (1993)

Recipe for Hate

I don’t remember when I actually got this album, but I started listening to it pretty heavily when I was 18 or 19. I recorded it from cd to tape – cuz I had a walkman – and would listen to it on the bus ride (yes, bus – awesome) from college to work.

I originally liked it because it was just a damn fine punk album that could drown out the creepertons on the bus. It was fast and loud, but the lyrics weren’t indistinguishable.

I started to love it because the lyrics weren’t indistinguishable. In fact, they were quite clear and amazingly intelligent. For example, the title track alone bursts with $5 words like “ubiquitous,” “suffrage,” “pomp,” and “vocation,” all in the appropirate context and all specatularly singable. And singing on the bus is another terrific tool to keep the creepertons at bay.

Beyond they lyrics, the music is everything punk should be. Not-too-distorted guitars, steady drumming, verse-chorus-verse type greatness. But buried in that formulaic is some really fun stuff, too. Like a way cool time change* in “All Good Soldiers” that actually makes you want to twist in your seat in between riffs. I can’t listen to this song without imagining myself with a guitar and clutching it up to my chest at those extended silences before slamming it down at the next set of notes. But I don’t play guitar. So what I actually do is squeeze my eyes tight headbang a bit.

Other highlights include “Struck a Nerve” in which there is a mysteriously woman sounding voice singing along with Greg Graffin with no discernable credit given in the liner notes, but a great layered vocal sound. Also, “Don’t Pray on Me” is just kinda funny with cultural references. And “Skyscraper” is the rightful closing track, even if there is one that follows it.

Songs I generally skip include “Man With a Mission” because it’s really just a bit too bluegrassy for my tastes (pretty sure there’s a slide guitar, but really it’s the whining that does it) and “Stealth,” the aforementioned closing track – nothing overtly offensive about it, but “Skyscraper” is really just a tough act to follow.

*time change may be the wrong terminology here, if anyone knows what I really mean, please feel free to correct

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