Sunday, March 2, 2014

Song Of The Week: 3/2/14

Song: "Stained Glass And Marble"

Artist: Rise Against

Album: "The Unraveling"

Year: 2001

"Stained Glass And Marble" appears to be about how organized religion uses fear and seclusion to maintain their followers. By only reading and following "the book", you tend to put yourself in a box, unaware of other opinions or beliefs. I think what the vocalist is trying to say in this song is that true faith or spirituality comes from within. And the beauty of the nature around us is like heaven on Earth. It definitely seems as though the song prefers spirituality over organized religions. Rise Against formed as a band back in 1999, hailing from Chicago, Illinois. The band formed out the ashes of 88 Fingers Louie and Baxter. Originally, the band was called Transistor Revolt and in 2000, they self-released the "Transistor Revolt" EP. In 2001, Transistor Revolt changed their name to Rise Against and were signed by legendary punk label, Fat Wreck Chords. The band released their debut album "The Unraveling" that year as well. In 2003, Rise Against released "Revolutions Per Minute". At this point, the band was slotted as opening act for such groups as Sick Of It All, NOFX, No Use For A Name, AFI and Strung Out. The band also played it's very first Warped Tour. By the end of 2003, Rise Against would sign with major label, DreamWorks Records, which would be bought out by Universal Music leaving Rise Against on Geffen Records. In 2004, they released their major label debut, "Siren Song For The Counter Culture". This would be Rise Against's 1st album to crack the Billboard 200 charts and would eventually be certified gold. In 2005, the band earned slots of the Taste Of Chaos Tour as well as the United Kingdom's Reading and Leeds Festivals. 2006 saw the band release "The Sufferer & The Witness". Thanks in part to the singles "Ready To Fall" and "Prayer Of The Refugee", this album would peak at #10 on the Billboard 200 charts. Rise Against was officially a headlining act from this point on. In 2007, the band released the "This Is Noise" EP in Canada. This EP would be released in the States in 2008. The band's fifth full length album, "Appeal To Reason" would officially claim the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 charts, making it Rise Against's highest charting release to date. Though the album marked the band's most commercial success, critically, it did catch some flack for moving too far away from the band's hardcore punk roots. A support tour for "Appeal To Reason" lasted for almost two full years, culminating with the release of the live dvd, "Another Station: Another Mile" in 2010. Never a band to shy away from political and social views that they hold dear, Rise Against turned up the heat with their 2011 release "Endgame". For instance, a song like "Help Is On The Way" directly spoke about the tragedies in the Gulf States like Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill while "Make It Stop (September's Children)" dealt with homophobic bullying, which led to some teenage suicides. While supporting the album on various headlining gigs, Rise Against also won the opening slot on the Foo Fighters tour in 2011. 2013 saw the band release the compilation "Long Forgotten Songs: B-sides & Covers (2000-2013). As it says in the title, Rise Against amassed a pretty big b-sides collection over the years, as well as doing some cover songs as well. This album put all of those rare tracks on one single disc, a huge treat for any fan of the band. Currently, bassist Joe Principe has stated that Rise Against should have a new album out some time in 2014. Singer Tim McIlrath has also confirmed as much. He stated that the band feels rested and recharged and ready to work on some new material. Rise Against's roots are in hardcore punk. Through the years, they have added huge melodic elements and sing-a-long choruses to their repertoire. They are everything I love about a band. Their songs are hard charging punk with lyrics that are deep and offer insight to various causes whether you agree or disagree with their views. I'd say Rise Against is definitely a top 10 favorite band for me, possibly top 5 if I gave it more thought. Can't wait for the new album!!

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