Rise Against are the crying Native American of punk rock. Check out these lyrics:
When our rivers run dry and our crops cease to grow
When our summers grow longer and winters won’t snow
From the banks of the ocean and the ice in the hills
To the fight in the desert where progress stands still
Sounds like something an old hippie would play on a lute at a Tolkien convention while I farted in his general direction. But to Rise Against’s credit, they’re somehow able to pull off lyrics like that pretty well.
I’m not terribly pleased that Rise Against watered themselves down from melodic but biting hardcore to a more commercial rock sound, but they do it well (and a hell of a lot better than Propagandhi). The tunes are polished but still driven, and it’s hard to dislike anything with this many whoa-oh’s.
While it doesn’t shake my ass or make me shout along, Appeal to Reason offers solid, appealing melodic rock/punk with meaningful lyrics and enough bite to keep it out of the emo section. And if I decide it’s not for me, at least its “ecopack” design won’t leave too much of a carbon imprint.