I first heard Rise Against on the Fat Music Volume 6 compilation, with their song Generation Lost. Then I heard their song Heaven Knows on the Atticus II compilation, and I knew I had to get the CD. I thought at the most I would get a good album. Boy was I wrong. Instead I got an emotionally charged album filled with 12 tracks of hard hitting, fast paced, melodic, kick your ass, hard-core punk rock. While I haven’t heard it, they also have a previous album that was released in 2000 by Fat Wreck Chords, titled Unraveling. I’ve read great reviews on it, and I can only assume that if it’s have as good as their latest effort, then it’s sure to be a damn good album.
The first track, Black Masks and Gasoline, starts the album off with a bang. This song I’d have to say is my favorite. It’s fast paced, it’s got great melodies, and is just an all around good song. It’s a bit reminiscent of Pennywise, but that’s not really a bad thing. The song calls for revolution and for people to take control of their lives and live them as they wish, rather than as others wish them to.
Sample Verse:“Simply because you can breathe, doesn’t mean you’re alive, or that you really live. This life here has taken it’s toll, and she just doesn’t know, how much more she can give…but here, at the top of the world, I raise my hands and I clench my fists. They stand before me below, demanding the answers with flips of the switch.”
Another great song from the album is the politically motivated, Blood-Red, White, and Blue. It confronts many of our countries problems, as well as the world as a whole such as war, poverty, and our judicial system. The song starts out slow paced but quickly turns up the speed as Tim’s vocals kick in. He conveys his feelings very well through his voice, and you can tell that he’s passionate about the topics he is singing about.
Sample Verse:What did you have to say? Give me your logic, your definition, the words you twist to justify your position of mass starvation and blind airstrikes. Every problem is solved with a fight. Peace won’t be found, ’til we’re underground as long as we live without a sound.”
I could go on and on listing the good songs from this album, because honestly, I don’t think there’s a song on the album that I don’t like. Even the seemingly out of place Journey cover, Anyway You Want It, is pleasing to my ears. I know what you’re thinking, Journey? Yeah, I was skeptical too when I first heard about it, but it’s worth a listen. They did a very good job covering it. I would highly recommend this album to fans of Death By Stereo, Pennywise, and the punk legends, Bad Religion. In closing, I would have to say that this is probably the best album that I’ve purchased since buying Finch’s What It Is To Burn. What more can you really ask for out of an album? The songs don’t all sound the same, they offer several different styles in their music, and all of the songs are good. I would say this album is probably deserving of a good 3.5 stars, and that’s being modest.