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Thought Riot - Sketches Of Undying Will (Cover Artwork)

Thought Riot

Thought Riot: Sketches Of Undying WillSketches Of Undying Will (2003)
A-F Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

Predominantly anchored by the inspiring theme that we can affect change in the world if we remain informed of the issues and work together, Thought Riot are one of the few politically-charged punk bands that doesn't solely concentrate on the negative. Although they sing about troubling world issues.
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Predominantly anchored by the inspiring theme that we can affect change in the world if we remain informed of the issues and work together, Thought Riot are one of the few politically-charged punk bands that doesn't solely concentrate on the negative. Although they sing about troubling world issues, they seem to approach the topics with a positive angle, and in turn, a refreshing glimmer of hope is often evident in their work.

Upon hearing two of Thought Riot's songs off the A-F Records sampler a while back I was sold, immediately picking up their debut last year ‚?? the excellent ‚??Shattered Mirror Syndrome'. And on their latest release, the appropriately titled ‚??Sketches Of Undying Will', the progressive five-piece haven't changed their basic formula all that much: once again the fast paced, hard-edged punk is highlighted by frontman Marc Riot's crisp vocals, thought-provoking lyrics that this time around actually read quite poetically, and great gang vocal choruses that really reiterate the sense of unity and solidarity.

The record opens with a tremendously positive song, an ode to the great things accomplished by people within the scene through their music and/or actions. As Marc says about the impetus for writing "With Love, the Underground", "I was noticing‚?¶[there were] no songs saying, ‚??Here's a pat on the back for being involved and being aware and talking to people'‚?¶Obviously [the scene] has its problems, but for the most part, we really help make our voices heard or at least the voices of dissent heard in the greater community." Moreover, fast and aggressive, this song is the epitome of Thought Riot's infectious sound.

Other topics touched upon are racism ("You're Gonna Die"), tales of troubled youth ("Cycle of the Streets"), the fact that there are some people who are in the scene just for the fashion aspect and nothing more ("On New Tablets", where Marc asks, "Are we striving towards a cause/Or rebelling just because?"), heightened security since 9/11 and the absurdity of the Patriot Act (the wonderful "Homeland Insecurities"), and of course since the record was written and recorded while the Iraq debacle was at its pinnacle ‚?? although it's still far from over ‚?? one that blatantly deals with the war ("A Song in Response to‚?¶").

The most outstanding song has to be the aforementioned "Homeland Insecurities", which musically, is superb with its extreme innate sense of urgency ‚?? the pleas of "All in all, all is lost" ‚?? add to the immediacy, and the lyrics and just the overall idea behind the song is SO true. It's a shame that so many people have accepted all this superfluous "security" believing that trading in our freedoms and rights in order to guarantee "safety" is ridiculous. It's a travesty, what Marc refers to as "illusion"‚?¶but I digress‚?¶ Other highlights are the following track, "The Hermit of Sils Maria", which opens with a memorable guitar riff and has a somewhat troubled sound, exacerbated by the harsh screamed vocals (I believe are guitarist Kelley's) that appear sporadically throughout the verses, as well as the finale "Walking Stick for the Weak", an offering that starts out rather subdued with Marc's vocals accompanied only by guitars. All the way through, the tempo is pretty slow, but it's quite possibly the most affecting of the 12 tracks. We are left with mass chants of "In time though all things end/Our vivacity endures and will carry on the dreams," thereby ending the record with hope, just as it began. This song is a more than fitting conclusion to a fine album that exceeds any expectations one could have had for their sophomore effort.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimA Wilhelm Scream - Mute PrintStrike Anywhere - Change Is A SoundStrike Anywhere - Exit EnglishDillinger Four - Midwestern Songs of the AmericasThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerRise Against - The UnravelingAgainst Me! - As The Eternal Cowboy

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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.
arejaypunx (October 22, 2010)

excellent band, RIP :(
Can't decide what I like more of their two albums, but both are undoubtedly excellent. Check em out.

blissguy (July 18, 2008)

fuckin great album. wish they were still a band :(

Anonymous (December 29, 2005)

Are you refering to getting a boner i mean the record is good but damn man

Anonymous (September 19, 2005)

This album gives me happy pants.

Anonymous (January 16, 2005)

This album is amazing, absolutely amazing

Anonymous (October 8, 2004)

This Album Was Damn Good Like early, anti-flag, i dunno who said there better than anti flag though. They need a little help on lyrics, yet but there getting there. Next album from them I;m expecting to be one of the best you can own.

Anonymous (September 24, 2004)

there's one bad thing: the don't play shows in switzerland! :-)

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

alan (mexico)
favorite ban.d , I watche them in the WARPED TOUR of san diego. they rock.

Anonymous (July 12, 2004)

better than anti-flag! :) together with pipedown the REAL leaders of AF-Records

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

This album is absolute gold. All the songs are great. What i really like about them is all of their songs ahve a true message or meaning. Not the Anti-Flag message of fuck the facist regime! and die multinational corporations. TR go round with a more positive message taht really means somethign to me.Great Band and great Album.

Greenvandal (December 1, 2003)

Well the asshole had to be all stupid and pretne dhe could block everything. Just wait until I reserect myself with the same voodoo he used to block my attacks. Im not done yet!

I just really want a viking funeral.

FortyMinutesWest (November 30, 2003)

Hahahaha, Saxon! That's one of the cheesiest viking metal bands I've ever heard, how appropriate.

Anonymous (November 30, 2003)

Sad to see you go, Vandal...
But it is cool that you're taking part in your own funeral pyre and stuff. That's some good spirit. I would have thought you would have given BSD a more difficult time. Oh well.
-Janelle

Greenvandal (November 30, 2003)

As long as it sounds as epic as it is cheesy, it can play as the pire burns.

How about some Spinal Tap?

funkisdead (November 30, 2003)

i swear, the hulk hogan and macho man records are some of the most ridiculous pieces of music in existence.
you ever heard of the 80's cheese metal band Saxon? i think they are either swedish or german, but i'm probably mistaken.
they have this song called "denim and leather," and i think that song is totally appropriate for greenvandals funeral.

Greenvandal (November 30, 2003)

Wow. I didnt know you guys cared enough about me. A viking funeral and old 90's macho tunes...*sniff* this is almost worth my dick.

Anonymous (November 30, 2003)

But he doesn't sing enough on that album! He's too nice! That Mach' goes all the way!

-BSD

FortyMinutesWest (November 29, 2003)

I think Hulk Hogan's epic "Hulkster In Heaven" would be more appropriate.

Anonymous (November 29, 2003)

I think a modern viking funeral would involve the Randy Savage song "Speaking From the Heart" but that's just me. Maybe "Mr. Perfect" too.

-BSD

Anonymous (November 29, 2003)

Gather up the hottest bitch and split her in two styles?

-BSD

funkisdead (November 29, 2003)

funkisdead is voting for a viking funeral to be held in greenvandal's honor.

i'll get that funeral pyre a'blazin'!

Anonymous (November 29, 2003)

BSD blocks all of GreenVandal's attacks, then stabs him again. This time for good.

-BSD

Greenvandal (November 29, 2003)

Oh, wait, you still wanna fight? OKay then...ummm

::stabs eye::

Booya. You should thank me, now you get to wear an eyepatch.

Greenvandal (November 29, 2003)

Well, win some, you get your dicked chopped off in some. Now when do I get to make out with Juliet?

funkisdead (November 28, 2003)

aaahahahahahahahahaha

Anonymous (November 28, 2003)

BSD does a dance slide between Vandal's legs and stabs him in the dick. BSD wins.

-BSD

Greenvandal (November 28, 2003)

I will only knife fight if we do it westside story style. Do you accept?

(hahaha, little does he know my secret plan of stabbing his arm when we get straped together, why the fuck didnt those idiots think of that one?)

notfeelingcreative (November 28, 2003)

To the person who asked if yoy can compare pipedown a-f or tabula rasa to other bands. Pipedown sound like AFI, Anti-Flag sound like a lot of bands (musically) and Tabula Rasa just bore me! BTW I love almost all of the bands on A-F i just think tey're really deretive!

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

Show the cheloveck some of the old ultraviolence my droog! Give im a fine bloody rot. Just a malenky bit should do the trick.

-the lone devotchka

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

Open thou glazzies, droogie!

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

Viddy 'at? 'E's too weak to go horrorshow violent on me.

-BSD

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

MONKEY!!! KNIFE!! FIGHT!!!!!

FortyMinutesWest (November 27, 2003)

Fuck with him, it's been a while since I've seen a good knife fight of the non-monkey variety.

Anonymous (November 26, 2003)

RACIST SCUM! I have a really cool knife too, so don't fuck with me.

-BSD

Greenvandal (November 26, 2003)

Fighting in review forums is good fun. Right BSD, you elitist cocksucker?

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

"Seriously, anyone who fights in a review forum should be shot, GROW UP"

Hey fuck you! I'll fight yer ass!

-BSD

Anonymous (November 25, 2003)

hey kids

Anonymous (November 24, 2003)

Seriously, anyone who fights in a review forum should be shot, GROW UP, besides that, I had the pleasure of buying Thought Riots first CD, it was good, but it was lacking in some area's. I dont think anyone can bad mouth them for it, it was their first release. I also saw them just a few weeks ago with Anti-Flag and Pipedown at one of the release shows. I have to say they kicked my ass, I give them thumbs up and I cant wait to recieve my copy of their new disc in the mail. BTW, not all AF bands sound like something else, can you compare PipeDown, A-F, WIT, or Tabula Rasa to anything that's been done before? I think someone needs a tissue........

ALineInYourBook (November 24, 2003)

"there's still plenty of major label from past and present that's great. beck, or badly drawn boy, or even Dazz Band. whip it baby."

You've got to be kidding me. Beck great music? And then you said "whip it"... Go sit in a corner and think about what you just said. And don't comment anymore after that.

Anonymous (November 23, 2003)

Whenever I see a review by Janelle, I check out the thread just to see the amount of shit-talking going on. Seroiusly, what's everybody's problem?

--Cos

CallingLondon (November 23, 2003)

"I like Thought Riot, i think calling a song "i voted for Nader" is lacking a little imagination but maybe i miss some point. I can only listen to bands that have some sort of social/political point to their music, and besides TR, and Propagandhi and non-punk commercial RATM and SOAD( who are the only two commercial bands worth committing the sin of listening to, commiting a sin as they are major label, yes, i am good at explaining) what the hell other bands are there that arent fucking weiners like Anti Flag."

i'm truely sorry you feel that way. seriously there's so much music out there that is, like, art. just becaues the lyrics aren't political, doesn't mean the music isn't innovative. try listening to some old funk. i mean, punk is great. i love it. it runs through my blood, but there is so much more out there, and just because it's on a major label doesn't mean it's bad. i mean, most of it nowadays sucks, but there's still plenty of major label from past and present that's great. beck, or badly drawn boy, or even Dazz Band. whip it baby.

Anonymous (November 23, 2003)

they have a new drummer AND a new second guitarist as well.

Anonymous (November 23, 2003)

I also thought their first record was boring and repetetive. Then I saw them a couple months back on the Anti-Flag tour and with a new drummer and new songs they are a lot better. Planning on picking this one up soon.

This score is for having a chick in the band who screams good.

funkisdead (November 23, 2003)

definitely "sad post of the day." good job for spotting it, team!!!

block that kid's ip, quick!

Greenvandal (November 23, 2003)

Thankys for clearing that up. but you still suck like whoa.

hahaha, BSD does a funny. But Superdude does a funnier.

Im prolly gonna buy this despite what I thought I learned from the first one...oh well, heres to hope!

Anonymous (November 23, 2003)

Oh and I mean progressive in ideological terms, Vandal.
-J

Anonymous (November 23, 2003)

VANDAL! The feud continues...
-J

as for making babies, ha. my friends have that one covered.
Anyway, the world's overpopulated as it is...

ALineInYourBook (November 23, 2003)

I gotta agree w/ BSD on that sad post...

Anonymous (November 23, 2003)

"I can only listen to bands that have some sort of social/political point to their music, and besides TR, and Propagandhi and non-punk commercial RATM and SOAD( who are the only two commercial bands worth committing the sin of listening to, commiting a sin as they are major label, yes, i am good at explaining) what the hell other bands are there that arent fucking weiners like Anti Flag."

Sad post of the day!

-BSD

Anonymous (November 22, 2003)

I like Thought Riot, i think calling a song "i voted for Nader" is lacking a little imagination but maybe i miss some point. I can only listen to bands that have some sort of social/political point to their music, and besides TR, and Propagandhi and non-punk commercial RATM and SOAD( who are the only two commercial bands worth committing the sin of listening to, commiting a sin as they are major label, yes, i am good at explaining) what the hell other bands are there that arent fucking weiners like Anti Flag.

Anonymous (November 22, 2003)

But he's also an idiot... I think superdude could take him easily in a game of written comments on message boards...

-BSD

sickboi (November 22, 2003)

Superdude, you're funny, but you may be barking up the wrong tree, that twat guy is malicious.

superdude (November 22, 2003)

That comment was stupid, but here's how I'd make it stupider:

1. Try to sound a little more sexist

2. Try to crawl back into the sixties when it was still popular opinion that women should be nothing more than incubators

3. Post more rviews of the Bangles, so I can find out why it's the bomb

4.

notfeelingcreative (November 22, 2003)

Yeah, Jon's right Pipedown AND Thought RIot both sound like early AFI! Everything on A-F records sounds like someone that's already out (Except Intro5pect)!

Greenvandal (November 22, 2003)

The first CD disapointed me GREATLY. It was repetitive as fuck, most of the music was retreads of songs I thought I heard Anto-flag play before, and the lyrics just seemed to be the same old thing over and over. The whole album blended together into one song. One song I wanted to like...but couldnt because there was just no expermentation anywhere. You said they are a progressive 5 piece, do you mean idealogicaly, or musically? Because if you mean music-wise...progressive is the last thing I would label this band unless some BIG changes occured.

I want to like this band, i really do.

And Janelle sucks like whoa.

:)

Anonymous (November 22, 2003)

what?

Anonymous (November 22, 2003)

Funkisdead! Miss you!
Ha, thanks for the offer to beat someone who bad-mouths me up...that's just excellent...as for supposed "wordiness" - I can't help it - I like to write...that is all.
-Janelle
I'll be expecting that email!!!! Still got a couple (well, 4) CDs with YOUR name on 'em!

FortyMinutesWest (November 22, 2003)

Funny, I was going to review, but Janelle stole my thunder. Guess I'll have to buy it now. Oh well, you're still swell in my book.

Another thing, I don't pick what I review, atleast not in most cases. Granted a lot of what I review is metal/hardcore, but that has more to do with Scott than me.

punky (November 21, 2003)

Good review, I have their first album, I'm yet to pick this up, but I know that I won't be dissapointed.

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

yeah, I noticed a lot of the voclas sounded like older afi. but so does the pipedown record that A-F just put out. These guys are really cool and will hopefuly get more recognition.

--Jon

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

yes, i won 20$, my friend thought bsd was reviewing this and another thought forty, but i knew. yeaah!

and it's never forty if it doesn't have "blood", "skull", an old movie reference or a hardcore slogan in the title.

notfeelingcreative (November 21, 2003)

This score is for my life. I hate my life.

funkisdead (November 21, 2003)

hey janelle!
remember, i'll beat people up for you, or maybe i'll just write you an e-mail.
this score is for that kid who said you use wordiness to compensate for an inability to describe the band's sound.

i'll beat him up first.

sincerely,
funkisdead.

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

oh ok, it is a 9 well, i don't know what to say...
-J

Yes! Another me-only thread coming up! ALl right!

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

damn, that score was supposed to be a "9"...sorry folks, this ignites my hatred for the scoring system...
-Janelle

notfeelingcreative (November 21, 2003)

Kirby Pucket is right! These guys sound alot like AFI! If old AFI had more socially conscious lyrics, it would sond like Thought Riot!

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

Wow, Janelle, you got 6 outta him...

-sickboi

superdude (November 21, 2003)

This review was good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. When listening to the cd, did the reviewer ever slap her leg and say, "What a riot!"?

2. If I was there when she said that, I would have said, "What a riot," because it would have been so funny.

3. Hermits aren't real

4. Oh wait, that's hobbits that aren't real

5. If I went to take a poo, would I be more likely to turn this up so I can hear it?

6. Man, the neighbours would hate that!

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

This review is hilarious. I love how she uses wordiness to compensate for her obvious lack of ability in describing a band's sound.

kirbypuckett (November 21, 2003)

Their last record sounded a whole hell of a lot like old AFI. I haven't heard this yet, I know my brother has it, I'll grab it before work.

- Scott
http://www.local-felons.com

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

i like the cover art. i'll probably check it out.

Ramo

notfeelingcreative (November 21, 2003)

I like this record. It didn't hit me as hard as "Shattered Mirror Syndrome" but good nonetheless!

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

For an interview with frontman Marc - go here:

http://rebelnoise.com/viewinterview.php?id=47

-Janell e

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