Never mind the fact that they're an awesome punk band. Never mind the fact that the
lyrics are well-written, intelligent, and plain wonderful. Never mind the fact that Tim McIlrath can actually sing AND scream (and do both really well).
All the other definitions are just as accurate, but what many of them don't mention is that they actually give a damn about the world. All the band members are vegetarian. They worked with Vans to create vegan skate shoes. The video for Prayer of the Refugee ends with a plea for fair trade. Whether you agree with their views or not, you still have to respect them for doing what they do when it'd be so much easier to just write another song about heartbreak. Though they do that really well too.
These guys care about what happens in the world, and they still manage to rock. If you haven't already, go listen to one of the songs in the other definitions and be amazed.
When Rise Against's video for Prayer of the Refugee finished playing on MuchMusic, I was shocked by the fact that I had finally seen a meaningful, thought-provoking music video on television.
Later, I was shocked again when I discovered that these were the same guys who sang Swing Life Away.