"Appeal to Reason" (Geffen; 2008)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have followed the music of Rise Against since their first release and I have found their music both insightful and very entertaining. "Appeal To Reason" is more of the same and more ... much more.

Extremely powerful and dark, "Appeal to Reason" tells a threatening tale of what happens to this earth if we do not do take action now and not later. The songs are full of "Mad Max" type images and really paint a picture of what life would be like in post-apocalyptic America.

Rise Against has joined the global effort to show what would (and will) happen if we do not alter our treatment of the earth. I raise my hand with the guys from Raise Against and say stop greenhouse gases, stop global warming, stop our addiction to fossil fuels. We have it in our power to stop the rape of our earth. I heartily applaud Rise Against in their effort to bring to light the bad treatment of our world, our home.

Punk music (or any kind of music) used for political change is nothing new; however, Rise Against does it with fresh eyes and with a loud stick. The music is hard and deeply disturbing yet is never depressing, but instead very poignant. It has the musical feel of The Ramones and The Offspring with the political point of view of U2 and Bob Dylan.

I liked this recording so much, it may not only be the best punk release of the year, it could be the simply the best recording, period.

For more information, check out http://www.riseagainst.com

"The Sufferer and the Witness" (Geffen; 2006)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Modern punk rock doesn't necessarily have to sound like Blink 182, or any of the other spongerock bands that sound like them. Take Rise Against and their latest CD, "The Sufferer & the Witness," for example. I had reviewed the band's "Siren Song of the Counter Culture" in 2004 and the new CD is just as easy and fun to listen as the previous release. However, the band has grown up and strengthened their sound so that they're even more solid than before.

What I like about this CD is that Rise Against uses a punk rock sound and attitude but they are not defined by it here. They use it as a tool to make their music edgier and harder. This direct approach makes "The Sufferer & the Witness" an enjoyable listen and it displays this band's growth and talent in an age of plastic music.

For more information, check out http://www.riseagainst.com

"Siren Song of The Counter Culture" (Geffen; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Human perception is a fickle thing. Sometimes what you do not like at first, you learn to like later and vice versa. If it's not "love at first sight" it might easily become an "acquired taste." Such is the case with Rise Against and their CD "Siren Song of the Counter Culture." 

At first listen, I found "Siren Song" to be boring and trite, but with further spins I found the music to be insightful and easily likable. The lyrics are deep and well conceived and are applicable to every day life. Rise Against is full of life and power, telling their musical story with vigor and a hard, heavy punk style that is explosive, profound and involving. If this recording is any indication of Rise Against's live show, they must be killer in concert. 

"Siren Song of the Counter Culture" may take a couple of listens to really sink in, but give yourself the time to let that happen. It will be time well spent. 

Rise Against: Tim - vocals and guitar; Joe - bass and vocals; Christ - guitar and vocals; Brandon - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.riseagainst.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.