Rock Against Bush
Vol. 2 (Fat)
by Ewan Wadharmi
The fall electoral surprise came more unexpected than a Red Sox championship to many of us. I felt a bit naive watching the Divided States fill up with opposing cola colors. Coke and Pepsi are usually just as distasteful to me, but Bush’s new formula was an affront. Seems over half of America’s voters find the taste of blood refreshingly crisp. Any good hawk knows we have to create a common enemy to garner support for our equally fabricated cause. Well, we have met the enemy, and they is us.
The bigger names than on Volume 1 generally produce a stronger track list. The British invasion styled “Favorite Son” has Green Day taking bitter-sweet inspiration from The Kinks. The (International) Noise Conspiracy and Bad Religion could crank this stuff out blindfolded and suspended by their testes. With the blistering entry “Kids Today,” The Dwarves patently refuse to die or grow up. It’s also good to hear Sleater-Kinney is alive and well. In deference to physical laws regarding matter and antimatter, Rancid and Operation Ivy appear together with “7 Years Down” and “Unity” recycled respectively. Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys provide particularly topical social pieces in the tradition of Stiff Little Fingers. You won’t even recognize a very punk Foo Fighters, but Lagwagon has usurped Grohl’s wussie role.
Yellowcard‘s “Violins” adds interesting mandolin to its boo-hoo guy/girl Dawson’s Creek-ery, but its inclusion here is pointless. Other coattail riders are No Doubt, power poppers Autopilot Off, and Sugarcult‘s rocking vague message. That old Jawbreaker chestnut “Chesterfield King” is dusted off in live form, but has no bearing on these proceedings (is Blake Schwarzenbach eating a jawbreaker, or does he have a busted gob?).
Only Crime, The Unseen, Donots, and Dillinger Four all add tasty tracks that solidify the disc. An urgent honesty on “You’re Gonna Die” demonstrates why Thought Riot are criminally underrated. Anthems from Hot Water Music and No Use For A Name are a special treat that bring a New Model Army drama to close it out.
The DVD features video extras by Alkaline Trio and NOFX, comedy, and more informative propaganda. At this point, it may be a mere cultural footnote like my “Madly About Adlai” button and Ross Perot bobblehead, but don’t scrape off your bumper sticker just yet. There’s plenty of rabble still to be roused. Four more years.