Rolling Stone - 11/3/94, p.983.5 Stars
- Good - "...like the Ramones' early albums, STRANGER THAN FICTION is a thrill ride that threatens to hurtle off the track at any second, the melodies coming in great, breathless bunches..."
Entertainment Weekly - 9/9/94, p.84
"...What's strange about these California power punk veterans' major label debut is that their slammin' riffs, tersely punctuated guitar solos, and ambitious harmonies remained underground for so long..." - Rating: A-
Q - 11/94, p.1054 Stars
- Excellent - "...no-holds-barred yet melodic...Their battleplan is matching poignant socio-politically aware lyrics to grungy yet powerfully soaring guitar rock..."
Musician - 10/94, p.86
"...On a stylistic level, Bad Religion are punk fundamentalists...yet these guys are virtual Unitarians when it comes to songwriting, opting for easily accessible pop melodies and even the occasional cushion of harmony vocals....It makes for a wonderfully bracing album..."
NME (Magazine) - 10/15/94, p.55
8 - Excellent - "...Bad Religion write great tunes...that place them firmly within that fine punk rock tradition of The Ramones and the sadly neglected Hard-Ons..."
Bad Religion: Greg Graffin (vocals); Brett Gurewitz (guitar, background vocals); Greg Hetson (guitar); Jay Bentley (bass, background vocals); Bobby Schayer (drums).
Additional personnel: Tim "Lint" Armstrong (vocals); Wayne Kramer (guitar); Andy Wallace (Hammond organ); Jim Lindeberg (background vocals).
Personnel: Greg Craffin (vocals); Greg Hetson, Wayne Kramer , Brett Gurewitz (guitar); Bobby Schayer (drums).
Audio Mixer: Andy Wallace.
Recording information: Rumbo Recorders.
Photographer: Dan Winters.
Unknown Contributor Role: Tim Armstrong.
Bad Religion is punk-rock's Bonnie Raitt, a cult band that persisted and persisted until the world finally came around to them. Around the time Robert Johnson's old Delta blues records started selling in the hundreds of thousands, Raitt started collecting platinum records and Grammys; likewise, in the era of Nirvana's and Green Day's run up the charts, Bad Religion began seeing big returns for the same kind of records they used to make for peanuts.
STRANGER THAN FICTION is where Bad Religion cashes in--at the alternative register, anyway. Far from a sellout, it's a confident reaffirmation of all the band's strengths: anthemic rhythm-guitar hooks that are equal parts 70's punk, 80's hardcore and classic heavy metal; a fast but super-tight rhythm section; unswervingly political lyrics; and, in defiant contrast to all of the above, pop harmonies. Songs like "Incomplete," "Stranger Than Fiction" and "Handshake" (which equates record-company business deals with class and race warfare) enter your head as hurricanes of information about the world's ills. They remain there because they're built upon blistering punk-rock guitar hooks.