VARIOUS ARTISTS: Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1: CD

Jul 13, 2007

My Grandpa Rife, god rest his soul, was a very kind and giving man who, during one of my typical, visceral anti-Reagan rants, told me, “Eric, don’t hate. You can dislike someone, but don’t hate them.” I’m sorry Grandpa, maybe I’m a lesser person for it, but my contempt for George W. Bush (not to mention the late, far-from-great Communicator) truly knows no bounds. I could go on and on, listing every war crime, class crime, and miscellaneous misdemeanor of our commander-in-chief but it probably wouldn’t be more interesting than Rock Against Bush Vol. 1, a 2-CD screed against the most dangerous puppet alive. And besides, the booklet presents a very impressive list of forty reasons to hate the man. Between the two discs is a hodgepodge of second, third and fourth generation punk bands including DOA, the Descendents, Social Distortion, NOFX, the Ataris, New Found Glory and Sum 41. Hey, where’s the obligatory Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Edward Said lectures?!?! None More Black’s “Nothing to Do When You’re Locked in a Vacancy” is a good opener with Rocket From the Crypt chug-a-luggin’ guitars and even Sum 41 takes off a little of their high production sheen to turn in “Moron,” a surprisingly strong effort. But as the liner notes say, the album isn’t “… about who’s a sellout and who’s more punk; it’s about uniting against a common enemy.” That’s a welcome and long overdue sentiment.

 –eric (Fat)