Anti-authoritarian Bad Religion: a punk rock band led by a PhD holder

Bad Religion is an influential and successful (both critically and commercially) american punk rock band that’s been recording and touring for over 30 years. Their style features three-part vocal harmonies, guitar solos, catchy choruses, and of course socially aware lyrics. Religion, here, is a metaphor for anything that limits independent thought. It is quite clear when you listen to the lyrics that the ideas conveyed in those songs are very progressive. One of the fun facts about this band is that original member and lead vocalist Greg Gaffin has a PhD in zoology (evolutionary biology) and has taught (or still teaches, I’m not sure) both at UCLA and Cornell University. There you go. Stay in school, kids!

This is one of the only punk rock bands I still listen to. This band is not just about releasing energy, these guys have something to say. Moreover, Greg Gaffin has a great voice – very different from the intolerable creaky nasal voices of several other punk rock singers. 30 years later, the voice is still great. This 2013 live show in France features many good songs, such as old classics like “Anastesia”, “Generator”, and “I want to conquer the world”, as well as a few new songs that I like such as “True North” from their latest album.