Henry Rollins has organized a 24-track benefit album for the West Memphis Three, a trio Tennessee youths incarcerated for a 1993 triple murder. They continue to proclaim their innocence and have built a sizeable following of people who believe they are wrongly imprisoned. “Rise Above” contains 24 songs originally written by Rollins’ former band Black Flag, performed by his current Rollins Band with a diverse cast of guest lead singers.
Iggy Pop, Ryan Adams, Chuck D, Mike Patton, Ice-T, and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor are a few of the vocal contributors to “Rise Above,” which is due Oct. 8 from Sanctuary Records. In a statement, Rollins described how he got the idea for the project.
“I became aware of the case like many people, from watching the ‘Paradise Lost’ documentaries that HBO released. The first one shocked me and made me upset. The second one made me mad,” Rollins explained. “Damien, Jessie, and Jason were found guilty of murdering three boys and sent to prison. I didn’t agree with the verdict. I figured that to do nothing about that would be to align myself with the forces of injustice that got them pulled into this horrible situation.”
Alt-country posterboy Adams lends his pipes to the only live track on the album, “Nervous Breakdown,” while former Faith No More frontman Patton’s unique vocals appear on “Six Pack” and Public Enemy frontman Chuck D and Rollins collaborate on the title track. Ween’s Dean Ween sings on “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie” and Nick Oliveri from Queens Of The Stone Age performs “Jealous Again.” Other guest vocalists include X’s Exene Cervenka, Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, Hank Williams III, Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Lars Fredriksen, and Black Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski.
Original Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris also sings on a studio version of “Nervous Breakdown” and onetime bassist Kira Roessler joins in on “Annihilate This Week.” Proceeds from the disc will be donated to the West Memphis Three’s legal funds.
Here is the track listing for “Rise Above”:
“Rise Above” (featuring Chuck D, Henry Rollins)
“Nervous Breakdown” (featuring Keith Morris)
“Fix Me” (featuring Iggy Pop)
“American Waste” (featuring Neil Fallon of Clutch)
“I’ve Had It” (featuring Cedric Bixler Zavala of The Mars Volta)
“I’ve Heard It Before” (featuring Jeff Moreira of Poison The Well)
“Room 13” (featuring Corey Taylor of Slipknot)
“Wasted” (featuring Exene Cervenka)
“Jealous Again” (featuring Nick Oliveri of Queens Of The Stone Age)
“TV Party” (featuring Henry Rollins)
“No Values” (featuring Hank Williams III)
“Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie” (featuring Dean Ween of Ween)
“Depression” (featuring Casey Chaos of Amen)
“Six Pack” (featuring Mike Patton)
“Police Story” (featuring Ice T)
“Revenge” (featuring Tom Araya of Slayer)
“Thirsty & Miserable” (featuring Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead)
“What I See” (featuring Chuck Dukowski)
“No More” (featuring Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen of Rancid)
“Black Coffee” (featuring Henry Rollins)
“Slip It In” (featuring Henry Rollins, Inger Lorre)
“Annihilate This Week” (featuring Henry Rollins, Kira Roessler)
“My War” (featuring Henry Rollins)
“Nervous Breakdown” (featuring Ryan Adams, live at the Fillmore)