Despite the song posted above, I've had one of the verses from "Materialist" in my head for several weeks now.* Not sure why - I do occasionally think about concepts bigger than I - but it made me pull out BR's 12th, The Process Of Belief. Or, as I like to call it, their comeback album.
Decent as the preceding two albums may be (No Substance and The New America), drummer Bobby Schayer's career-ending shoulder injury is one of two things that contributes to The Process of Belief working as well as it does. New drummer Brooks Wakerman returned the speed and pounding to the original melodic hardcore punk rockers, and brought a sense of youth to a clearly greying but no less intense rhythm and vocal section.
The other is the full reunion of the Greg Graffin-Brett Gurewitz writing team. Graffin did more than well on the hugely underrated The Gray Race, but two albums that followed made one wonder if the band was on its last legs.
Previous albums, and I do mean all of them, balance a mix of introspection and worldly vague political discourse. Sometimes this was something a little more direct, as on "Operation Rescue," "American Jesus," "Fertile Crescent," or even this album's "Kyoto Now," but mostly the scientific and societal statements could stand separate from current events. Almost entirely, though, The Process of Belief is very much a band taking a look at itself.
Both Graffin and Gurewitz spend the album lyrically examining themselves from a religious standpoint, or under the guise of self-perceived failure, or even from age, as I'm pretty sure Graffin is doing on "Supersonic."
The song finds Graffin opening the album wondering if the world is passing him by, and that the solution is to simply speed up. For me then, at 20, as it does now, the "Supersonic" is a mantra. To a certain extent, I am a careerist workaholic and always have been. I have long had some sort of direction and, when I'm at my best, speed forward with a smooth burn.
Interestingly, the song kicks off an album proving the same to be true of Bad Religion.
*The verse in my head: "The process of belief is an elixir when you're weak/I must confess at times I indulge it on the sneak/But generally my outlook's not so bleak."