The Honor System - Rise and Run (Cover Artwork)

The Honor System

The Honor System: Rise and RunRise and Run (2003)
Grey Flight Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: wyzoWyzo
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Instead of mentioning past bands Honor system comes from, or other bands that came from those ex-bands (The lawrence trio, *cough*). I don't want to taint the review with the punk rock watercooler of excess information, or turn this into a band being reviewed versus bands mentioned in review. This r.
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Instead of mentioning past bands Honor system comes from, or other bands that came from those ex-bands (The lawrence trio, *cough*). I don't want to taint the review with the punk rock watercooler of excess information, or turn this into a band being reviewed versus bands mentioned in review. This review is about this record, and thats all. Also, no lyrical quoting, and no 'guitars sound like....'. I've realized I have 3 adjectives for that and I'm spent, so Ill avoid that altogether.

For me, "Single File" is one of my all time favorite records, and not in a summer blockbuster if you buy three records buy that record three times way. Its in a group of records that I go to behind a break glass in case of personal emergency. I can't debate it with people, its outside good/bad opinion, its just a very personally important record to me. A comfort record.

The EP The system released after, "100% Synthetic", was a bit of a change. The songwriting was pretty similar, but production wise it was more rock oriented. Anyone whose seen the honor system live can tell you they sound much more chaotic and LOUD live than any of there recorded output would hint on. And this EP tried to show that, I thought it traded some of the nuance.

I was kind of split about the EP, but I still preordered there 3 song single when I heard it was coming out. That single had two songs that were re-recorded for this record and one exclusive track (american math). It was very raw, very loud, and very good. One song I loved, one song was okay, and another was so-so. I still had no idea whether "Rise and Run" would make me do the first or the latter. I anticipated this record with alot of anxiety. One of a few records I put money aside for. In an mp3 world, I couldn't pay enough for this.

I woke up, got this CD in the mail, then went to work and got fired. I suddenly had lots of time to pop it in. Being mad over the loss of employment, I looked to this record for some quick therapy. I went from Bret Easton Ellis to Dr.Seuss in the first twenty seconds.

Production wise, it falls inbetween the EP and first LP. It takes the good parts of the EP production, reflecting the bands live sound more accurately, chaotic, busy, and LOUD as hell. It also mixes in the best parts of the LP's production, knowing when to hold back giving restraint during moments when it all tries to break loose so when it finally does, the tease has built you to foam and froth.

The ten songs on the record fall everywhere. The MP3 sample on the grey flight site for the song "paper idols" initially came off without reaction as a slower song, now in the flow of the album, a much needed breather inbetween the anger fueled closer 'the rise and run' and the very pessimistic guitar heavy 'eyebrow of the cobra'. One very instant difference is the hope so evident on 'Single file' has been given edges, and gives for a much more lyrically dark album. The vocals are coughed up with as much silver lined cloud as Dan can manage through his concrete rasp. While most bands tend to mock up there lyrics with surefire stylistic schemes, it has always amazed me that the Honor system can do so much with so little purely on the delivery of the words. "Hz" relates the horrid state of musical affairs with the decay of our personal affairs. References to the war are made on the sneak, or even when more directly in a manner which makes them relatable to a dozen different situations. Political themes can be interpreted personally, and vice versa. "Sound of Sinking" has the most dirty sounding straight rock sounds the system has accomplished, and with its brief serpentine guitar jangle separating the first couple verses, its a favorite. I have to mention, and give alot of credit to the group aspect of the songwriting. Both the Bass and Drums are given there due, the drums in particular being given every chance for creative use of everything that can ting on a drumkit.

Musically, its denser, alot is going on, while still being the taint of the musical groin, neither hardcore nor pop, never succumbing to sterile hybrids of ten seconds of metal ten seconds of pretty emo.

Meant to be self-released before Grey flight thankfully stepped in, I'm worried that such a good band had almost fallen away. The other two bands mentioned at the beginning that came from the ashes of the slapbroadsticks both signed to new labels and acclaim. Its The honor systems turn. They don't release new material often, and they don't want to save your souls, or ears. They write honest, relevant rock songs with a sense of urgency and contact. If you want more from them, listen to a band you can have daydreams about. I get the feeling from this record they dont want anyone to discuss this record instead of living there lives. Its a record to listen to while you live about living, not to live for. If your willing to meet them halfway, this record might be for you.


People who liked this also liked:
Alkaline Trio - This AddictionThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundJawbreaker - Dear YouIron Chic - Not Like ThisThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldRVIVR - LP [12-inch]Thrice - VheissuThe Hold Steady - Stay PositiveDillinger Four - C I V I L W A R

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (July 5, 2003)

i did read at some point on that guestbook about them having a trove of songs ready to go. I saw them over a year ago, and there was alot of new songs, some people complaining on the guestbook that there shows had turned into most new stuff, if a band did that, I'd consider it amazing to hear, but to each there own. That's why i thought the 7 inch would have more than one non-album song, even though to be fair, the different versions of 'moving day' and 'sound of sinking' especcially the latter are worth it even if you have the album. Well, also that the b-side is really good.

The new songs lyrically do sound somewhat current, "skyscraper ambitions" as a song title, so on. Still, its good to think the honor system has more up there sleeve. Whatever happened to the makato records 7 inch club, wasn't honor system/casket lottery supposed to be the next one out?

I'm still wondering where the rest of my money on that went. Damn you michigan labels.


Anonymous (July 4, 2003)

crap, can't buy it from a locked store...4th of july bummer. I'm gonna go blow up some 'works

Anonymous (July 4, 2003)

I havent heard the new one yet. I think I'm goin to the record store today. Did anyone else see someone from the band (Dan, I think) post something in their old guestbook about some of these songs being old ones? It sounded as though they might have even been pre-single file or synthetic. Maybe thats what the reviewer was saying went on the single. Also, these guys are cool as shit. I thought one of their shows was going to be 21 , freaked out because I was a month away, and posted a distress signal on the guestbook. Dan emailed me the next day telling me to meet them in their van in the lot before the show. My girlfriend and I got guestlisted. Turns out it was all ages, but it was worth it to hear Dan tell the doorman that we were with the band. I've seen them three times now, its a shame that all of about 10 whole kids show up to these shows. You guys need to buy this album to support this band...they deserve to be heard (and be paid for their work). They get down to Georgia from Chicago better than once a year for the last three, help em out.

Anonymous (July 4, 2003)

good luck getting that through grey flight. she isn't part of that label anymore

Anonymous (July 3, 2003)

i want julie's sex

pers (July 2, 2003)

grey flight records also has a bunch of great 'specials' if you want to order Rise and Run off there. i got the $9 (US) package that included the cd, a poster, sticker, and 2 pins.

SOYBOMB (July 2, 2003)

For kids who don't know who The Honor System are, or never heard of them before, Asian Man Records is running a special in which you pay $10 (if you mailorder, NO SHIPPING CHARGES) for their latest CD which was reviewed perfectly here, and their first full length "Single File" as well as a sticker and button.

That's great stuff right there.


Anonymous (July 2, 2003)

Ya, the new ETID is fucking awesome. I got the "official" copy yesterday. Anyone who likes punk rock and hardcore should check it out! I say top 5 of the year.

Anonymous (July 2, 2003)

Some of the best lyrics I've ever heard!!

Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

Sorry about all the grammatical errors as well...


Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

I've never quite understood seemingly everyone's appreciation for The Honor System on this site, but to each their own. And the only "big name" from The Honor System that I know of is Dan Hanaway and Rob DePaola, who both played in the late, GREAT band The Broadways, which also featured Brendan Kelly and Chris McCaughan (sp?) who currently played in The Lawrence Arms and were once in Slapstick and Tricky Dick, respectively.


hey_sailor (July 1, 2003)

Off the topic, the new Every Time I Die album is in-fucking-credible...why didn't I know about these guys sooner?

hey_sailor (July 1, 2003)

For some reason I always thought Dan Andriano was in here but apparently not...

hey_sailor (July 1, 2003)

Can someone set me straight on exactly who from which bands make up The Honor System?

Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

This is a great CD. I don't think it quite matches up to Single File, but it's still damn good. It definitely seems more angry than previous releases.

I still think that The Honor System is probably one of the most underrated bands in punk. If you're reading this review and this comment, and you haven't listened to The Honor System yet, for the love of anything you cherish, please do.

pers (July 1, 2003)

i completely agree with the review. the honor system is one reliable band. i would be absolutely shocked if they ever put out a less than amazing record.
overall i found this a bit more intense and exciting than 'Single File', but that's my opinion. they are both great releases.

Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

Good review, I like the album more everyday. However in my opinion they will never acheive the greatness that was Single File, I will never understand why they left Asian Man, I doubt Mike asked them to leave.

aubin (July 1, 2003)

I would get it from Grey Flight, but I also wanted to order the As Friends Rust/Strike Anywhere DVD and they probably don't have it

fallingtopieces (July 1, 2003)

to the homeboy who said he was going to get it on interpunk, get it from grey flight instead, they always send free stickers and shit and theyre cool as hell

fallingtopieces (July 1, 2003)

ok, i usually hate long-winded reviews, but i must say this one was magnificent. not only was this a top-notch review, but its was for a top-notch cd. out of all the bands that came from the ashes of slapstick, this is the most underrated. great great review.
on a side note, the honor system, in my opinion, have yet to put out a bad release, not to knock the larry arms or alky three, but i think the fact that they take their time with their albums and dont immediately churn out new ones all the time really shows in terms of quality.

Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

Their EP rocked so i'm anticipating on this record and so far i heard a lot of great stuff. man there are times where i wish i got fired from my job.

(supermarkets suck)

Anonymous (July 1, 2003)

Sorry about your job.

aubin (July 1, 2003)

Great review, I especially liked this:
"Bret Easton Ellis to Dr.Seuss"

Though, are we talking Glamorama Ellis, American Psycho Ellis or Less Than Zero Ellis?

Anyway, on the strength of this review, my order is going to interpunk.com tonight.

Oh, and sorry about the job thing. I've been there...

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