Home Featured ‘Appeal To Reason’: Rise Against’s Anthemic Punk Classic

‘Appeal To Reason’: Rise Against’s Anthemic Punk Classic

‘Appeal To Reason’: Rise Against’s Anthemic Punk Classic

The title of Rise Against’s fifth studio album, Appeal To Reason, had multiple meanings. It’s the name of the socialist newspaper where Upton Sinclair first published the material that became The Jungle, his 1906 Chicago meatpacking expose. Fast forward 100 years in that same city, and the words also referenced Rise Against’s basic stance: Look past politics, and understand what is actually happening.

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Rise Against rose to prominence as a musical voice for the powerless, a defiant group singing songs of oppression and freedoms lost. It is a project, in lead singer and guitarist Tim McIlrath’s opinion, that is less radical than it is pragmatic. In a 2008 interview with The Red Alert, McIlrath explained his opposition to being labeled a political band: “​​I’ve done a lot of interviews with people who are vaguely familiar with our band, and what comes up is that Rise Against is political and controversial – and that stuff has always kind of baffled me,” he said. “I’ve taken a look at the things we’re saying in our songs and the things we’re asking of each other and of other people, and when you boil it down, we’re asking people to be fair to each other. We’re asking…

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