Chicago punk band Rise Against have never lacked for targets of their righteous anger and melodic-but-muscular musical attack. Though he writes relationship songs, too, lead screamer Tim McIlrath is better known for taking on U.S. Army recruiters, promoting P.E.T.A. causes, and generally carrying on the fine tradition of articulate, socially aware hardcore begun by bands such as Bad Religion and Minor Threat (albeit with a studio sheen that’s distinctly 21st century).
So the real surprise about “Make It Stop (September’s Children)” isn’t that McIlrath has a negative opinion about anti-gay bullying, but that you don’t hear the sentiment more often in the punk world. The song and its accompanying video are Rise Against’s response to the wave of LGBT teen suicides in September 2010; both are part of the It Gets Better campaign begun by Dan Savage.
Though many decibels louder than the average It Gets Better video, the “Make It Stop” clip shares the campaign’s emphasis on brighter futures despite trying present times -- which, come to think of it, pretty much sums up the best of Rise Against’s work.
The Magnifier team is very pleased to be able to offer Music Beta users the ability to add this track to their library free. Click the Add button and it’s yours forever -- but this button will only be live for the next seven days. Please also visit the It Gets Better project (http://www.itgetsbetter.org/) to learn more about the campaign, and donate to the cause. -- Tim Quirk
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