Bad Religion: review

Old punks never die, they just keep putting out new albums that stick to proven formula. So don't expect Bad Religion to turn around and start producing country or nu-metal - they're still pissed and they aren't gonna take it any more. Their last album, The Empire Strikes First, railed against the U.S. government. New Maps Of Hell is firmly entrenched in war and the songs portray life within the whirlwind. "Fields Of Mars" is probably the most obvious (and fantastic) example with its quasi-religious tale of battle, while "Submission Complete" is a damning indictment of soldier recruitment, complete with a chugging marching-band beat. This looks like a huge CD given it comes in at 16 tracks, but since almost all of them average about two minutes in length, it's just enough of a rhythmic blast to keep you on the edge of your seat. Kudos to Bad Religion for having long mastered the musical equivalent of a hit-and-run.