UK Bonus: Historia Calamitatum
Released: October 4th-7th (worldwide)
Lead vocals, rhythm guitar : Tim McIlrath
Bass guitar, backing vocals : Joe Principe
Lead Guitar, backing vocals: Zach Blair
Drums: Brandon Barnes
Produced - Bill Stevenson & Jason Livermore
The 5th studio album from probably the most anarchistic and politically savvy band that America has produced for many years, Rise Against. However, as much as I love this band, this album does feel like they’re preaching to the converted, making no new ground, either politically or musically. Two tracks have been released as singles, Audience Of One and Re-education (Through Labour), to mixed reviews. The singles themselves did well in the charts, with Re-education reaching #22 in the American Billboards Mainstream Rock Charts, and Audience of One reaching number #4, with the album peaking at #3. In the UK, despite a slightly earlier release, didn‘t fare as well, only reaching #68 in the album chart and both singles failing to reach to the Radio 1 Top 40.
The album does have its fair share of catchy, ‘nod-your-head-background-music’, and relies heavily, as always, on the vocals of front man Tim McIlath for the core of the song, with the guitars that once strove to the fore of the song now mellowing in the background, repetitively playing the same 5 chords over and over again.
In ‘Hero Of War’, Tim leads a moving and vocal attack on the Iraq war, seen throw the eyes of a solider. In various interviews after the release of the album, the band say the main inspiration for this song came from meeting Iraqi War veterans, and other bands, including Shinedown, we had spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan meeting and playing for the troops on tours of duty. The first time I heard this song, the raw simplicity of it moved me so much I started crying in the middle of the local library.
Overall, the album, through nothing new and groundbreaking, it is a definite hit for die-hard fans, or those with slightly anarchistic tendencies.
Tracks to listen to: Hero Of War, Historia Calamitatum, The Dirt Whispered
Tracks to watch: Audience Of One, Re-education (Through Labour)
Tracks to avoid: Collapse (Post Amerika)
To me, however, the album cover and contents are by far the most interesting thing. Along with the usual lyrics, acknowledgements and legal paragraph lies something all together more interesting. Included are quotes, political and environmental, that are worth noting in their diversity. Gandhi is quoted, as is Henry Thoreau, raging against the government. However, most powerful in my eyes is a un-titled quote,
“What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only eyes, if he is a painter, or ears if he is a musician, or a lyre in every chamber of his heart if he is a poet, or even, if he is a boxer, just his muscles? Far from it: at the time, he is also a political being, constantly aware of the heart breathing, passionate, or delightful things that could happen in the world, shaping themselves completely in their image. How could it b possible to feel no interest in other people, and with a cool indifference to detach yourself from the very life which they bring to you so abundantly? No painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.”
If anyone knows who this is quoting I would be grateful for the info. N
For more info see;
www.youtube.com and search for Rise Against
and of course, wikipedia