Rise Against

Rise Against: Appeal To Reason: Album Review

Politically-charged music has been elevating ferociously since America’s darkest day in 2001, a day hearts collapsed, and a day a Country was tarnished beyond compare. 9 years on, the rubble has been removed and the hearts have regained some spirit. There has been a response of angst through music since the ruins, pop-punk veterans Green Day sent their self styled rage across with American Idiot in 2004, a rock opera describing the aftermath and of an inadequate leadership. George Bush’s reign was one with calamities and friction, according to critics and the American people, he single-handedly deconstructed America’s label as the most feared nation in the world.


Now Chicago’s finest punk machine Rise Against have their chance to channel their thoughts and built up rage. The 4-piece band who have always had a political undertone, shoot down the barrier once again with fresh opus ‘’Appeal To Reason’’ which has a profound meaning and does highlight the band’s open-minded thoughts they have about their bruised homeland. Lead singer Tim Mciirath pens yet more songs about his turbulent cognition, his sneers have reached new heights and his calibre as an all round musical titan has strengthened. Appeal To Reason shows Mciirath’s maturity as a songwriter, he writes like a storyteller more so than a bog-standard lyricist.

The album commences with ferocity as ‘’Collapse (Post-America)’’, pushes the statement headfirst, the guitars are driven vigorously and drum beat represents the damaged hearts finding a sense of resurgence. It’s a thrilling opening to what follows. Second appetizer, ‘’Long Forgotten Sons’’ brandishes a slower opening, with the guitars sluggishly pacing at a low mark before going into a full-blown rattle, Mciirath’s trademark croons elevate to breaking point. ‘’Re-Education (Through Labor) goes down the same route, the chorus is ludicrously catchy and will nestle in the ear channels for days. He sings‘’ We crawl on our knees for you, Under a sky no longer blue’’ a song that delivers a message to the people who crave for change and peace.

‘’The Dirt Whispered’’ opens with Mciirath’s rasping vocals ‘echoes of songs still lurk on distant foreign shores/where we danced just to please the gods’’ a track that highlights Mciiraths profound lyrical mind, his articulate twang runs through the album fluently without any clichéd phrases, this it what makes the leading man such a rare beast. ‘’Audience Of One’’ is probably the most lyrically incisive song on the record; the guitar work is punchy and searing, with Mciiraths swollen sneer evident as he screams ‘’I brought down the skies for and all you did was shrug/you gave my emptiness a name’’ Audience Of One could be perceived as the most commercial song on the record, using a mainstream ethos.

Yet with all the grinding punk triumphs that are strewn amongst Appeal to Reason, the acoustic gem ‘’Hero Of War’’ is the song that hits against the political empire most of all, Mciirath sings a protest, describing the war through the eyes of a military recruit. The song harbours the emotions that war has on people, detailing that fighting is not a plea for greatness, but is pollution. Mciirath plays on his own, with the acoustics complimenting his sincere vocals, shouting ‘’A hero of war/yeah that’s what I’ll be and when I come home/they’ll be damn proud of me’’ ‘’ The shells jumped through the smoke and into the sand’’ the track is laden with thought provoking lyrics and first-rate emotion.

Overall ‘’Appeal To Reason’’ is a triumph and is Rise Against’s most complete album to date, it even overtakes the brilliance of 2006’s ‘’Sufferer And The Witness’’ which was the first chapter in an enthralling saga. Mciirath and co have justified what it is like to live in post 9/11 America, on how the country tries to revive and grow once more. Appeal to Reason not only does this, it’s a punk rock record that brings Rise Against into the light more so than ever, a band who have dabbled around the underground since its formation in 1997, also seem to have a pact of protesters with them on their side.

Mark McConville










Posted on November 16th, 2010 at 08:10am

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