Rise Above

Various Artists | Sanctuary


Billed as “24 Black Flag songs to benefit the West Memphis Three,” Rise Above supports a trio of young men whom many feel were wrongly convicted for an Arkansas murder. This high-octane project is spearheaded by Henry Rollins, former singer for the pioneering California punk band Black Flag, who captures youthful angst without moralizing or apology. Standouts include Iggy Pop’s “Fix Me” as well as rapper Ice T’s raging “Police Story.” Among the surprises, alt-country favorite Ryan Adams’ wailing “Nervous Breakdown” proves that one lonely man and his guitar can be scarier than the heaviest heavy metal.

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  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.