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Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Rise Against- The Sufferer and the Witness


  Artist: Rise Against
CD Title: The Sufferer And The Witness
Label: Geffen Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 2-19-07

 

 

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"We're setting the fires to light the way / We're burning it all to begin again," sings Rise Against vocalist Tim McIlrath, "With hope in our hearts / And bricks in our hands / We sing for change." The song, "Bricks," is emblematic of the best and worst the band has to offer on their latest album. There's something a little naïve about their stance of wide-eyed revolution, and it takes a paradoxical close-mindedness to truly believe that setting stuff on fire and throwing bricks is going to accomplish any broad political change. Still, McIlrath and friends seem resigned to the fact that it takes more than ideals to effect change; "Behind Closed Doors" and "Worth Dying For" seem to make the point that a righteous battle is worth fighting even in the face of certain defeat. If Rise Against are idealistic at times, at least they stand for something, and that's a refreshing change from the whiny, narcissistic introspection that seems to have overtaken so much of the commercial punk scene, and like Bad Religion before them, they've certainly mastered the marriage of hard but melodic punk anthems with socially aware lyricism. At least they're trying, and that in itself is a cause worth pumping your fists for.

Throw a brick at the oppressors at www.riseagainst.com.


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