Various - Rock Against Bush Vol 1 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Rock Against Bush Vol 1 (2004)

Fat Wreck Chords

Fat Mike has a dream, that one day we will all be free of the oppression of George W. Bush. Rock Against Bush Vol 1 shows that he's not alone in his dream, and the caliber of talent on here assures that the basic message of "Bush is a twit" will be getting to thousands very soon.

The compilation is made up mostly of previously unreleased material, but luckily, very little of it falls into the "it's unreleased for a reason" category. Highlights are all over the thing, starting with None More Black's "Nothing To Do When You're Locked In A Vacancy." Kicking off the comp by kicking the listener in the ass, Jason Svechuk and company make me ask the question "why wasn't your full-length packed with songs as good as this?" Akaline Trio's "Warbrain" is a strong Skiba-sung effort, on par with the band's typical above-par compilation contributions. Against Me!'s electric version of "Sink, Florida, Sink" turns the song into a drunken singalong, increasing it's fun factor tenfold. The Get Up Kids' "Lion And The Lamb" is better than about every other song on Guilt Show. Rise Against shows that their sound hasn't changed at all since signing to a major, and leaves me anxiously awaiting their new material.

One of the biggest letdowns was the Rx Bandits' "Overcome (The Recapitulation)." Don't get me wrong, I love the song - I just thought the band would want to contribute a track specially written for the occasion. And while we're on the topic of ska, I should take time out to mention the new Descendents song - it's a ska song. Seriously.

The CD flows surprisingly well from band to band. considering some of the genre-hopping going on here [The Ataris into Pennywise into Denali? Somehow it works.]. The only big drawback is some of the songs are missing a lot in the production part, mainly the Offspring and Social Distortion tracks [both of these songs are over a decade old].

The DVD that accompanies the compilation is obviously very left-wing oriented, but presented in a way where it's not too radical. The inclusion of the anti-Bush commercials created through is nice, as is the inclusion of a handful of music videos from Strike Anywhere and NOFX, among others. The liner notes are also presented in a way where it's intelligent without sounding stuffy - as it's written inside the CD: "This compilation is not about making a profit; it's about making a difference. It's not about 'let's be punk rock and hate the government'; it's about 'let's be punk rock and change the government.' It's not about who's a sellout or who's more punk; it's about uniting against a common enemy." It hasn't been said more succicently than that yet, and I commend Fat Mike and company for putting the effort they did into this release.

A worthy cause, a worthy purchase.

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