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Rage 3: The Effects of Rage on Three Sisters of the Revolution
Artist: Various Artists 
Label: Worthless Records 
Time: 23 tracks, 76:02 minutes

Worthless Records compilation album, Rage 3: The Effects of Rage on Three Sisters of the Revolution, may have a bizarre title, but the music therein is representative of several well-known bands as well as little-known bands who exhibit a big sound.

The album launches off with American Made's "Earth Girls," a high-powered punk tune reminiscent of early MXPX about love and loss in the way only a punk band can state it. The second track, "Seize the Day" by D.Tailz is all about making the most of your life. The track features huge guitar sounds and a barely restrained energy that must incite movement at live shows.

Lemonade Stand Band's offering, "Chocolate Milk" is a funk-laden cheerful tune on the less-than serious topic of his favorite drink. The verses outline the various ways to make chocolate milk, from simple milk and chocolate syrup to the more complicated mixing of powdered milk and the subsequent addition of the syrup. "When the sun comes out and sweeps the land, better have my favorite drink on hand."

5 Minute Walk recording artist Five Iron Frenzy contribute their live version of "Where Zero Meets Fifteen," a lively ska hit. "Oblivious" by BIIB starts off large with a trumpet solo then throws itself into full swing, "God you are awesome and I give you my praise for Your love and grace abides in me..." 

Another 5 Minute Walk artist Philmore's "Smile At Me" starts off strong and doesn't t lose any built up energy throughout the song. The song speaks of the desire to see the Lord. Track 11, The Mechanism's "Blood Sucking Tadpole," aside from having a strange title, is an energy infused thought-provoking song about our complete lostness and need for salvation. "Am I crazy am I insane/I love my life when there's nothing to gain/Would I be like Judas if I kissed your face/If it could make me rich would I sell your grace/Am I digging my own grave/Is there still a way for you to save/Me from myself, I'm such a mess/Is there still hope even though I'm hopeless." 

"Unto Me," a disco mix by DJ darryL and DJ c3po features a repeated quoting of Matthew 25:35 I was a stranger and you took me in/I was thirsty and you gave me drink. The album also features another mix: Creepy Jesus' "How I Thought The World Would End When I Was Eight (Rage Mix)." 

Perhaps the most intense song on the album is Heath Bottomly's "Anymore" which speaks of the loved ones left behind after a suicide. "And I don't understand/Why/You'd walk away from this life/The questions you leave/With all that you'd do left undone/But you can't hear anyone/Anymore." 

The album closes off with a slower, almost folksy sounding track, "Heavenly Love" by Jared Utterback. The track features sweet string arrangements and hand percussion and speaks of the love of God.

The album as a whole brings together the various edges of the punk/ska/modern rock genres into a cohesive and energizing compilation.

Kerry Maffeo 3/24/2001

The Rage Volume 3 release is the third in an ongoing series of compilations from Phoenix-based Worthless Records.  The albums, which showcase Christian bands from Arizona, are an offshoot of the Rage Festival, an annual all-day event at Phoenix's Veteran's Memorial Coliseum which combines extreme sports competitions and skateboarding demonstrations with concerts by various Christian artists.  The third volume covers a diverse palette of styles and boasts a number of noteworthy entries among its copious tracks.  The genre-hopping "Blood Sucking Tadpoles" from The Mechanism alternates deftly between U2's delicate, chiming guitar tones and a growling, all-out thrashfest reminiscent of Metallica's early works.  DJ Darryl and DJ C3PO's "Unto Me," on the other hand, mingles driving dance beats and a simple but infectious melody line with ambient vocal snippets from Matthew 25 to produce a composition that is as ethereal as it is hauntingly stark.  And Michelangelo's "Headed up for Glory" is a splendid country-flavored hymn replete with the earthy, heartfelt sentiment and celebratory abandon that are stamped upon Southern Gospel's most compelling offerings.

As one might expect with a mostly indie compilation like Rage 3, some of the included artists salute their influences a bit more obviously than others. The sneering vocal swagger of Lo-Fi Attack Styles' "Freak Flag" is pure Mick Jagger, while its dirty, bluesy guitar riffs are lifted straight from the Keith Richards songbook.  Similarly, the perky ska-pop texture, frenetic guitar runs and exaggerated harmonies of D.Tailz's "Seize the Day" and Lemonade Stand Band's "Chocolate Milk" bear more than a little resemblance to the title track from Silage's Watusi album.  That said, though, each of these songs are fine, joyously energetic musical specimens that stand up well alongside their respective inspirations.  And the latter two numbers feature an especially luminous sonic production and highly innovative word use.  "Seize the Day," in particular, uses a wonderfully witty sense of wordplay (The birds sing as I spread my wings/ 'Cause I'm a bluebird laying down a funky chirp) to lend an endearing sense of tongue-in-cheekiness to its semi-blustering delivery.  

A handful of the artists on the compilation, including Philmore, American Made and the Aunt Bettys, hail from outside the Arizona border but appear on the compilation by virtue of their ties to the Worthless label's B-Spot concert production division.  As one might assume, the tracks from these major-label acts are among the more polished on the release.  Nonetheless, entries like Philmore's "Smile at Me" and Five Iron Frenzy's live version of "Where Zero Meets Fifteen" still fit neatly into the overall weave of the compilation due to their rollicking, often left-of-center attitude and stripped down, do-it-yourself musical aesthetic.   All said, the Rage 3 release is a surprisingly solid effort across the board and, as such, ranks as the most consistent installment in the Rage series thusfar.   And, with 23 songs and over 75 minutes of music underneath the jewel case, fans of just about every musical style are likely to find something to take a shine to.  Judging from the compilation, the independent Christian music scene out West is alive and well and each of the artists featured on Rage Volume 3 can be justifiably proud of their submissions.  Long live Arizona!

Bert Gangl 3/31/2001

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