Prayers for Atheists – Self Titled Debut EP

August 4, 2009

Prayers for Atheists - Self Titled Debut EPEven before listening to the actual EP, I knew that "Prayers for Atheists" consisted of strong members all wanting to share their story. One story in particular, lead singer Jared Paul's, was displayed on the insert of the EP, and naturally I read it. In July 2008, Jared Paul was arrested at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota while attending a concert. The police showed up "with guns raised, rushed civilians and forced them to the ground, clinched their wrists, and dragged them off to jail without any cause or explanation." After a long, costly, and stressful ordeal, the case was dismissed. And once Paul was free from the case, he took his anger and his emotions and with the help of Alan Hague, created this dynamic EP.
If I had not read the story on the inside of the EP, I would have soon learned about it through the 3 minute song "Psalm For St. Paul", which tells the listener all the gruesome details about the unfortunate event, and the corruption within the police. The style of "Prayers for Atheists" is similar to "Rage Against the Machine" or even "Public Enemy", because of the political raps that Jared Paul pours out. "Prayers for Atheists" are especially related to "Rage Against the Machine" in songs like "The Bike Song", "Wrong Horse" (which also deals with Jared Paul's incident with the police, and even declares it when he says "HALF THE FUCKING ALBUM IS ABOUT YOU!") and "Coathangar 18", a song that deals with abortion, which showcases their opinion for hot topics in America. Although "Prayers for Atheists" have a heavy rap melody, their hardcore punk roots come alive in "Tom Delay", dedicated to the House of Representative himself. The track has a tone similar to "Minor Threat" and "Black Flag", and once again shows off their knowledge for politics. Lastly, another song that breaks away from the rap harmony is "Lot's Wife". "Lot's Wife" has a poetic vibe to it, with artistic and insightful lyrics that comes to no surprise.
"Prayers for Atheists" is a band that should be praised for a variety of reasons. One is their ability to have a range of musical techniques, from rap to 80's hardcore Punk. Another reason why they should be praised is that they have knowledge - knowledge about harsh reality, knowledge about a world outside their own, and knowledge about the politics that surround out nation. Last, but not least, "Prayers for Atheists" should be exalted for their dedication to help the "Conspiracy to Riot" campaign because as the band says "Fighting back takes effort, but it is absolutely the street, at work, in school, and in the courtroom."

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-Sarah K.-
Music scene reporter
Big Wheel Online Magazine