Artist: Rise Against
Album: Appeal To Reason
Rating: 4 Out Of 5
It's been a while since I last wrote a CD review, and now I'm back.
Rise Against is simply one of the best punk bands out there. It is melodic, politically-conscious agit-punk at its best. The brilliant 'The Sufferer & The Witness' was simply breath-taking, with songs like 'Prayer Of The Refugee' and the wonderfully poetic 'Approaching The Curve.'
'Appeal To Reason' is simply that, an appeal to reason. It questions, - like most Rise Against albums - the very fabric of American life and politics. In 'Collapse (Post-Amerika)' Rise Against criticize the apathy of the American public, remarking "Neutrality means you don't really care / Because the struggle goes on even when you're not there."
'Entertainment' is one of their best songs to date, questioning their own relevance ever since they gained mainstream popularity. Tim McIlrath worries that their popularity will make their message ignored and viewed as a vehicle for entertainment. He sings "All we are is entertainment / Caught up in our own derangement."
'Hero Of War' is a prime example of the sheer personal nature of the politics of Rise Against music. We are made to listen to actual accounts of war from the soldiers of Iraq, woven into an acoustic narrative that can seem clumsy with words, but is beautiful nonetheless.
'Re-Education (Through Labor)' mirrors 'Prayer Of The Refugee,' in that it discusses the struggles of immigrants in America and underpaid labourers in countries such as China: "We sweat all day long for you / But we sow seeds to see us through / Because sometimes dreams just don't come true / We wait to reap what we are due."
The rest of the album is worth listening over and over again. Though not many will say this is their best album, it is certainly up there. If you like your music with a conscience and a message, this is what you should listen to.
Over and out