The Process of Belief finds Bad Religion returning to their roots in two important aspects. First, original guitarist Brett Gurewitz has rejoined the ranks, bringing with him the taut songwriting skills that made Bad Religion hardcore pioneers in the mid-1980s. Secondly, the band has returned to Gurewitz's successful indie imprint Epitaph after years on a major. The result is an album that captures the clean joy and vigor of melodic hardcore without sacrificing its moral core.
Songs like "Supersonic" and "Prove It" are fast, catchy, and irresistible examples of the kind of prime ADD punk that's over before you know it. But the likes of "Materialist" and "Kyoto Now" find Bad Religion at their best. Greg Graffin sings at one point that "you might not think that there's any wisdom in a f***ed up punk rock song," but his rants against global pollution, ambition, and family politics prove otherwise. There are a few surprises as well--"Broken" is almost an acoustic chart anthem while "Bored and Extremely Dangerous" could be a Sebadoh song. In all, The Process of Belief is confirmation that you don't need big shorts and a low IQ to make a prime-grade punk rock album.