Though they may not have the universal name recognitions of Carly Rae Jepsen, for certain contingents of indie hipsters and punk brawlers alike, Japandroids released the song of the summer with “The House That Heaven Built.” The fist-pump-along anthem inspired many a beer raised high and that wall-of-rock power would be hard to top. So Beat Radio’s Brian Sendrowitz takes things in the opposite direction, stripping all bombast away for a folkie campfire strum.
If you’re a big fan of Bad Religion, you should know this about me up front: I had no idea that they were as influential as they apparently are. I knew them simply as a decent punk band that, for reasons I didn’t fully appreciate, seemed to be on constant rotation on my hometown radio station. So you can imagine my confusion when I heard that a pretty solid lineup featuring the likes of Tegan and Sara, Switchfoot, Ted Leo, the Weakerthans, and others were covering their favorite Bad Religion songs for the tribute album Germs of Perfection: A Tribute to Bad Religion. “Does the world need this?” I wondered.
As it turns out, I was kind of an idiot. Bad Religion’s been around for 31 years—as in, since 1979. Their guitarist for most of that time has been Brett Gurewitz, founder and owner of Epitaph Records and affiliates ANTI-, Burning Heart Records, Fat Possum Records, and Hellcat Records. Germs of Perfection, which was released by SPIN and MySpace Music as a free download today, commemorates the 30-year anniversary of Epitaph, which is as good a reason as any for such a tribute.