Bad Religion’s final album

Back in 1979, four high school friends formed the punk rock band known as Bad Religion. 30 years and 16 albums later, and the band is still going strong with their latest-and-possibly-final album "True North."

Known best for their well thought-out lyrics, catchy three-part vocal harmonies and shredding guitar riffs, Bad Religion has continued to garner fans from all genres of music with their distinct and fast-paced sound.

"True North," clocking in a little over 30 minutes with 16 tracks, covers a variety of topics normally found in their previous albums; politics, religion, anti-establishment (the usual punk rock modus operandi). And although never explicit, this album contains a possible 'good-bye' to longtime fans sprinkled throughout some choice songs.

The opening track, "True North," sets the overall tone of the album, as the band has no problem finding their bearings after a three-year absence. Lyrics like "Overburdened, underwhelmed, their ethical decree / That's your moral compass but what good is it to me?" immediately gets the listener charged, for the remaining tracks fall within that similar pace.

While not as politically charged compared to past albums (during W's administration), the track "Robin Hood In Reverse" is definitely the band's middle-finger salute to the Citizen's United ruling, and all the fervent supporters who made it happen. With lyrics like "Let's say we try to get this right / Said the plutocrat to Jesus Christ / And when the old fox fearing the worst / Made his entrance in a hearse / Then the nine in black robes all went berserk / This is a tale of robin hood in reverse" it's clear the band doesn't see eye-to-eye with Mitt Romney's view that corporations are people too. The following track "Land Of Endless Greed" is of the same vein, only slightly angrier.

Some tracks felt slightly out of place, but didn't take away from the overall experience. "Hello Cruel World," "Crisis Time," and "My Head Is Full Of Ghosts" certainly felt and sounded more personal, while retaining the punk rock attitude.

Perhaps the crown jewels of the album, "Fuck You" and "Vanity," are the punkiest songs that get you in the mood to mosh.

While the message of "Fuck You" is just that (sometimes easiest to proclaim it and move on), "Vanity" is short and sweet (the shortest track on the album at 1:02) with lyrics like "Our vanity / Disgraced to face our own humanity / In a world that mocks our tragedy" which has you listening to it over and over in an endless loop.

The last track on the album, "Changing Tide" holds the best evidence of this being the band's final album. "Brothers say goodbye / Sisters don't you cry / All embrace the times / Wade into the changing tide" suggests the band is talking directly to fans, as if to say it's better to go out on top than to burn out in another few years. You cannot not replay the entire album again after listening to this song, the second time around scavenging for more clues you may have missed on the initial listen.

The rumors of this being the final album originated at a live show two years ago, when frontman Greg Graffin announced, "After this year you probably won't be seeing much more of us. We're going to try one more album and then all join the navy, do honest work."

If this is Bad Religion's final album together, it's a fantastic one to end with. They've been consistent with their style and sound for the past three decades, and yet never felt like they overstayed their welcome (something bands like The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith should learn). It's easy to see why so many different bands have been influenced by them over the years, for it sounded like they brought their A-game to every single track.

And if you're unsure if you want to invest the $10, the band has the entire album streaming on YouTube for free (However it's this reviewer's opinion that it's worth every penny). Whether you've been a longtime fan of the band or are just discovering them for the first time, it does have something for everyone.

While punk is not dead, it certainly could be losing one of its more prominent bands if they decide to finally walk away after this.