# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Various - Rock Against Bush Vol. 1

  by Alex Halls

published: 12 / 7 / 2004

Various - Rock Against Bush Vol. 1
Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Format: CD


Possibly commerically exploitative punk compilation, which mixes together exclusive and already recorded tracks, and features the likes of Sum 41, the Ataris, Pennywise, NOFX and Less Than Jake

Political statement, commercial exploitation, or a clever mix of both? Far from a sexual reference, 'Rock Against Bush Vol.1' is Fat Wreck Chords’ first attempt at direct political persuasion, or dissuasion as far as the Bush administration is concerned. Doubts , however, have been raised as to the authenticity of the reason behind the release of this compilation. The punk community has, for some time now, attempted to encourage non-voters to become more active in an effort to remove President Bush at the next Presidential elections. 'Rock Against Bush' aims to do this through the music as well as the message but it is burdened by fierce criticism from sceptics within the punk community. Whatever the reason behind its release, it’s the music that sells an album after all, isn’t it? Quite surprisingly Sum 41 find themselves as the most recognised band invited to record for this compilation. Following on from their 2002 release, 'Does This Look Infected','Moron' exploits the punkier side of commercialism in Sum 41’s distinct chirpy but now edgier style. 'Warbrain', the Alkaline Trio’s offering, follows 'Moron' immediately and is without parallel. Fluid and emotional, this is the epitome of excellence, notwithstanding the fact that it is pretty much constructed of repeated segments. The Ataris are present with 'Heaven is Falling', a tasteful little number which sounds not to far from modern Feeder. I’ve always had a penchant for the acoustic tracks that the Ataris come out with and this one, despite lacking from some serious studio mixing and sounding as if it is being played down the phone, does not disappoint in the slightest: “God I want to be a man. But I don’t want to die with a rifle in my hands.” If the majority of the tracks have been recorded specially for this release, a small number are off already released studio albums; Pennywise’s 'God Save the USA' is perhaps the crème of these, which also include 'Revolution' off Authority Zero’s 'Andiamo' album, which quite aptly states: “If you want a revolution, you gotta make a difference on your own”. These songs appear to be where the album has gone right; where serious thought and time have been spent on the creation and production of the material, rather than a last minute attempt to churn out something presentable. One major qualm is the ordinary standard of the NOFX and Less Than Jake tracks. Whilst the NOFX contribution is a little more varied than before, fans may notice Less Than Jake's inability to construct new and original lyrics, instead seeming to rely on the old cigarettes/life has gone by much too fast chestnuts, seen on the 'Hello Rockview' album. On the other hand, the clever mix of ska, through the Descendents and RX Bandits, to the harder edge of punk with the outstanding Rise Against, certainly add animation; a kind of vivacity that might otherwise have been lacking. It’s difficult to make a clear judgment when faced with bands of such differing styles in an offering such as this. The Fat Wreck label has a number of damn fine bands signed to it but, as a message of punk solidarity for this cause, a number of other bands have joined in, voicing their concerns as one united message and expanding the depth of the album. As with many a compilation there are weaker tracks littered throughout. On the plus side, however, there is more than enough to ‘rock’ to, whether this is against Bush or not.

Track Listing:-
1 None More Black- Nothing To Do When You're Locked In A Vacancy
2 Sum 41- Moron
3 Alkaline Trio- Warbrain
4 Epoxies- Need More Time
5 Anti-Flag- The School Of Assasins
6 Against Me!- Sink, Florida, Sink (Electric)
7 The Offspring- Baghdad
8 The Get Up Kids- Lion And The Lamb
9 Rise Against- Give It All
10 Ministry- No W
11 Descendents- Sad State Of Affairs
12 Authority- Zero Revolution
13 The Soviettes- ¡Paranoia! Cha-Cha-Cha
14 Jello Biafra With D.O.A. - That's Progress
15 RX Bandits- Overcome (The Recapitulation)
16 Strung Out- No Voice Of Mine
17 Strike Anywhere- To The World
18 The Ataris- Heaven Is Falling
19 Pennywise- God Save The USA
20 Denali- Normal Days
21 The World/Inferno Friendship Society- The Expatriate Act
22 New Found Glory- No News Is Good News
23 The Frisk- Basket Of Snakes
24 NOFX- Jaw, Knee, Music
25 Social Distortion- It's The Law
26 Less Than Jake Featuring Billy Bragg- The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out

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