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Various Artists
Take Action! Vol. 7
Hopeless Records
www.takeactiontour.com


Nearly a decade ago Hopeless Records founded Sub City, a record label that raises funds for non-profit organizations. In its time it has donated over 1 million dollars to various charities. Part of that success can be attributed to the creation of the Take Action volumes. Each year a new album is put out, containing the hottest up-and-coming artists of the scene. The idea behind the music was the mission to create a better world, one voice and one action at a time. As of today, over $450,000 has been raised through these excellent compilations.

When I received the newest volume of the Take Action series, I already had a little history in mind, but really didn't have any expectations. Therefore, I was really rather impressed by this CD. Sure it helped that the artists fit into the genres that I generally listen to, like Alternative, Rock and maybe Emo. Silverstein, now there's a band that fully exemplifies the Emo I mentioned. Chalk full of sympathetic emotions, set to the tone of almost angry guitars and an occasionally high note or two, the tempo pretty much remains the same throughout the song, but then again that allows you to move along. Next is Chiodos which is a newly-found and absolute favorite of mine. The song they chose to include, "Teeth The Size Of Piano Keys" might not have been my first choice of theirs; though no matter which song, it's going to be genius. This song is definitely more Alternative, as the emotion is stronger and more pronounced. Craig (vocals) knocks out the choruses and harmonies just perfectly. A little farther down is a song from Emery. Now I have been an Emery fan in the past, but really only for a song here and there off of Studying Politics. But after hearing "The Party Song" and getting the lyrics "But you party on/get your party on" stuck in my head, I had to take another look at them. There are so many dynamics to Emery's music, it's incredible. It's like a chameleon of genres. At one point in the song it's Rock, the next a melodic trip into Emo and then back for furious guitars and Alternative attitude. Another band that can attribute my fascination with them to this compilation album is All Time Low. The album has "Dear Maria, Count Me In" which is really a true fun song. ATL fits nicely into the pop punk genre with bands like Relient K and Plain White T's. Their music is very upbeat, laced with bouncing drums and chords much higher than any previous band on the album. I'll go down to another band/song that's a good reason to buy this CD. "All Over You" is the Spill Canvas' most recent hit off of their newest album. After you hear it once it's easy to get why. It's right up there with All Time Low in the upbeat tempos. But this song all by itself is amazing. It's not just a song that makes your body move, but rather forces you to dance. I mean when they break into the chorus with those electric guitars, you'll realize that your booty is inexplicably moving. Sure the lyrics can attest to an Emo influence, though I can't put them there. There's too much energy in this song to have a label like that. It just wouldn't be natural. Near the end of the album is one of my favorite songs of 2008. Yes, the album that it comes on is fairly fantastic as well, but this song all by itself leaves the listener awe-struck. The song to which I am referring to is "Digital Sea" off of The Alchemy Index: Vol II: Water from Thrice. After seeing them perform this song live, I can no longer listen to this song at a soft level. The depth to this song covers so many layers, from the eerie piano, to the effects that make their way around your stereo creating a 3D feeling and the haunting voice of Thrice lead singer Dustin. It was a smart move to put this song on the album.

My appreciation and respect for the efforts that Sub City has been making naturally makes me want to have many great things to say about any Take Action CD. Yet after actually been given the chance to check one out, I can now say those great things without any effort. I wish there were more people who were using music to support a cause like they are.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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Mike Doughty



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