By Tim Duffy
Pop-punk in the new century is widely seen as “dumb” music. For the most part the sentiment is dead on. In fact pop-punk has always been a fairly “dumb” genre. Muscular chords that anyone can learn back up shout along songs that anyone can sing. Add to that the monster commercial breakthrough of the genre with Green Day’s fecally named Dookie and a series of hits in the 90′s and early Aughts from Blink-182, a band fond of puns, “hilarious” nudity, and idiotic tunes about fart jokes and cursing, and the genre’s pedigree is undeniable.
Then there is Bad Religion. Musically this stuff is as dumb as any of their peers and their brethren, yet they somehow also manage to squeeze in intricate narratives about political and sociological issues. “Stranger Than Fiction” manages to squeeze piles of literary references into it’s snappy few minutes of dopey rock. It is in some ways what you might call smart dumb music or half smart music. Still it beats Sum-41.
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