When Rise Against emerged from the Chicago hardcore scene with
its debut album ȁC;The UnravelingȁD; in 2001, it was as
though they had been together for years. And while bands such as
Bad Religion and Minor Threat were big influences, their
originality was a breath of fresh air.
They seemed both musically and lyrically talented beyond their
years. Rise Against quickly became one of the most talked about
bands in the punk community. When their second album
ȁC;Revolutions Per MinuteȁD; was released, fans were
blown away again. The band had clearly grown with their music by
perfecting its unique hardcore/melodic style, sustaining its
legitimacy as a band.
But when Rise Against announced its decision to leave Fat Wreck
Chords for major label Geffen, some were quick to write them off as
sell-outs, while others remained skeptical, hoping they
wouldn’t be let down. In one of the most anticipated releases
of the summer, the band’s newest album Siren Song of the
Counter Culture blends the best of the first two albums together,
creating a harder, more polished album that is sure to please
The first song of the 12 tracks is possibly the hardest and
fastest song in the album’s entirety. Obviously, Rise Against
wanted to prove to fans and skeptics that their credibility
wasn’t going to be lost because of the move to a major label.
Just by listening to the first couple tracks off the new album,
it’s safe to say nothing’s been lost.
What makes Rise Against such an engaging band is the power and
energy that singer Tim McIlrath pours into each song. In the most
politically charged album of the band’s career, the lyrics
are more intelligent than before. Songs such as ȁC;Paper
WingsȁD; and ȁC;Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly
Exaggerated,ȁD; clearly showcase the passion the band has for
In the midst of so many political bands whose music focuses on
bashing the government and the state of the world today, Rise
Against takes the route less followed by offering something
positive through negativity. They are a pro-active band that offers
solutions rather than harping on what is bad. This is what makes
the band so refreshing to listen to.