Search Results for "Rise Against"

Cover Art Battle (September 10th): Rise Against, Balance And Composure, Violent Affair & more

In this week’s edition of Cover Art Battles, we have new releases from Rise Against, Balance And Composure, Violent Affair, Two Cow Garage, Op Ivy’s Jesse Michaels, Bowling For Soup, Down To Nothing, Death Ray Vision, and Moving Mountains.

Check out all of the artwork for these releases and cast your votes in the poll below!

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You’re out of the Band! 6 Punk Musicians Who Seriously Missed The Boat

There’s no getting around it, creating a successful rock band is hard, like, real hard. First you have to find some friends, and not just any friends, these friends have to know how to play different instruments, and play them well. Throw a singer in the mix and you are ready to go. What follows is the tricky part, elevating your band from a bunch of kids making noise in their garage to a well-oiled machine playing to sold out crowds. In order to become successful it takes tons of drive, armor against rejection and the realization that reaching that next level in the music world takes an extremely dedicated individual. Unfortunately, not every band mate is able to stick it out and is often left by the wayside. And that’s who we celebrate today. The musicians who gave up, gave in, gave out or got kicked out of a relatively no name band just before said band became famous. There can be numerous reasons for the phenomenon but today let’s look at some of the most notable cases from the world of punk rock.

1. Scott Raynor, ex-member of Blink 182

The Story…
Perhaps one of the best examples of a guy who dropped the ball is Scott Raynor, the original drummer and possible co-founder (depending on who you ask) of Blink 182. Together with Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge, they were a trio of go-getters who quickly began taking the punk world by storm. Together the three put out a few demos and CD’s, finally finding their single Dammit, off their major label release Dude Ranch, on the radio. Everything seemed just dandy. Unfortunately, things behind the scenes were not so pleasant. The story goes that Tom and Mark believed that Raynor had a bit of a drinking problem. Finally reaching its peak, they gave him an ultimatum: either calm down on your drinking or you’re out of the band! According to Raynor, “I was contacted over the phone and asked to quit drinking. I asked for the weekend to think about it, I came back and agreed. They said, ‘too bad,’ and I don’t really know why.” Either way, he was out, Travis Barker was brought in and the rest is history.

The Band…
Blink 182 went on to huge mainstream success, releasing many high earning records including Enima of the State, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket and their self-titled effort, some of which reached the platinum level. After a five year hiatus, the band returned to continued fanfare and remains one of the most successful punk bands of all time.

The Guy…
Raynor went on to play in a few other bands, including Death on Wednesday and One Track Mind. He reportedly spends his free time kicking himself in the ass for hours on end every time he hears Blink on the radio.

2. Dan Precision, ex-member of Rise Against

The Story…
Rise Against began as a conversion of bands 88 Fingers Louie and Baxter with Dan Precision, or Mr. Precision coming from the former. The new band, originally named Transistor Revolt released the Transistor Revolt EP then changed their name to Rise Against and released their first full length cd, The Unraveling on Fat Wreck Chords. This was the year that Mr. Precision took his exit, but why? In an open letter written by Precision, he states that an argument began when singer Tim McIIrath informed him that he didn’t like the length of Dan’s hair and that his appearance was “getting in the way of the message that the band is trying to convey,” whatever that means. There was some back and forth after this with Tim and the other band mates giving Dan mixed information about whether or not he was allowed to stay in the band, also stating that they felt that Dan “had his hands in everything and it was stressing them out.” In the end, the band decided that they wanted Dan out and due to the stress, Dan felt almost relieved to hear it and that was the end of that.

The Band…
Their fear of the fashion police aside, Rise Against soon signed with DreamWorks Records and released Siren Song of the Counter Culture which was certified gold. From there came The Sufferer & the Witness and Appeal to Reason, each record becoming more successful that the one before it. Today they are one of the only true hard rocking punk bands on the radio with no end to their success anywhere in sight.

The Guy…
With nothing else to rise against, Dan Precision went on to join the bands Break the Silence and more recently the punk band Set Fire to Reason whose debut EP, Remote Controlled was released earlier this year. With Mr. Precision still playing music and following his dreams, people say that both he and his hair have never been happier.

3. Ben Dobson, ex-member of Yellowcard

The Story…
There are many punk bands out there who have undergone major transitions in their musical styling’s, so much so that if you were to listen to their earlier stuff, you may not believe that they were the same band. Thus was the case with pop-punk band Yellowcard in the early years of their career. Before lead singer Ryan Key came into the fold, Yellowcard had a heavier, more hardcore sound. That was when they had front man Ben Dobson. With Dobson in the lead, the band released two albums, 1997’s Midget Tossing and 1999’s Where We Stand. That was Dobson’s last act and he soon exited the band. There’s little info about why Dobson left the band but the general consensus is that he just lost interest and called it quits. Refusing to give up, Yellowcard then drafted current singer Ryan Key who helped to convince the band to move to California, after which the band found considerable success.

The Band…
After only a couple years, the ‘new’ Yellowcard released Ocean Avenue which with the help of radio play and the assistance of the MTV crowd became a huge success, selling over one million copies. While their popularity has dwindled slightly, they are still a leader in the power-pop genre.

The Guy…
We may never know what happened to Ben Dobson, online research is slim. According to a 2008 article on Buzznet, there were plans of a reunion of the original members. Whether that came to fruition or not is a mystery. Rumors that Dobson erupts in cold sweats when asked to play soccer are also unfounded.

4. Eric Stefani, ex-member of No Doubt

The Story…
Like Yellowcard, No Doubt also started with a sound that was radically different from how the band sounds today. Although they had a definite ska influence for the first few years, their first album had a strong ska sound. Like really, really ska, almost as ska as you can get. Originally started by Gwen Stefani’s brother Eric Stefani, No Doubt also differed in their line-up which included a male singer, Gwen doing backup vocals and a few additional artists playing horns. Well, long story short, Eric maintained creative control during that time but that didn’t last long. When the band began work with producer Matthew Wilder on their second album, Eric was none too pleased to relinquish said control and left the band in 1994. A year later, No Doubt released their next album, Tragic Kingdom.

The Band…
Well we all know that Tragic Kingdom was a massive hit, eventually going eight times platinum. From there they released several other albums, each to varying success. Gwen also launched a very successful solo career while the band went on hiatus. They have returned and are still going strong.

The Guy…
Eric actually didn’t do too badly for himself. Upon leaving the band, he returned to his job on the television show The Simpsons where he worked as an animator. He has also worked on other shows including Ren and Stimpy and Mighty Mouse and spends a lot of time spying on Gavin and his sister while hiding out in their guesthouse.

5. John Kiffmeyer, ex-member of Green Day

The Story…
Once upon a time, back in 1987, the punk band Sweet Children, formed by Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt hit the scene. Soon they were joined by drummer John Kiffmeyer and their journey began with some successes and changes, including being signed to Lookout! Records and changing their name to Green Day. Kiffmeyer, also known as Al Sobrante, in reference from the name of his hometown, drummed his heart out as Green Day released an extended play called 1,000 hours and their debut cd 39/Smooth before departing on their first national tour. Shortly after that, in 1990, Kiffmeyer decided to leave the band in order to attend college and the band brought in the infamous Tre Cool to take his spot. It’s interesting to note that without Kiffmeyer, Green Day might have had a lot harder time getting where they are today, if they got anywhere at all. Kiffmeyer already had experience in the underground scene as well as friends who he was able to network with which eventually led them to Lookout!.

The Band…
Well let’s face facts; Green Day may be the most successful and well known mainstream punk band of all time. Their breakthrough Dookie was a major hit, eventually selling over 10 million copies. After a few years their success dropped a bit as their follow up records did not sell quite as well as Dookie. Fortunately, in 2004 they released American Idiot which re-propelled them to worldwide success.

The Guy…
After the fancy college boy attended Humboldt State University, he went on to join The Ne’er Do Wells and the The Ritalins before managing the now defunct The Shruggs and producing an album for garage band The Troublemakers. Currently he lives in San Francisco where he works as a Director of Photography for commercials. He’s probably pretty happy doing what he’s doing but let’s face it, he may be the only member of Green Day to graduate college but after seeing their success, who’s the real American idiot? Just kidding.

6. Bradley Nowell, always member of Sublime

The Story…
Unfortunately, not all of these stories can be taken quite as lightly, as is the case with popular ska-punk band Sublime. Founded byBradley Nowell, Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh, Sublime started by working small venues while playing their eclectic music style which many fans and venues became skeptical of. Sublime, however, would not let up and they eventually began making a name for themselves, mostly in their home of southern California. After releasing 40oz to Freedom and Robbin’ the Hood and getting radio play for their single Date Rape, their popularity increased even more. During this time, Nowell fell victim to an addiction to heroin which he used because he believed it helped with his creativity. In 1996, the guys began work on their self-titled album, originally titled Killin’ It. Soon after the completion of the record, Bradley Nowell suffered a heroin overdose and passed away on May 25, 1996. After some debate, it was decided that on July 30 their album would still be released but as a self-titled record.

The Band…
With the death of Bradley, the remaining members decided to call it quits but we all know that that is not where the story ends, not by a long shot. Their self-titled album went on to become a hit, producing some of the most widely heard, loved and played songs on the radio, even today. The album has sold over 6 million copies and is constantly seen on top ten lists. Years later, the remaining members of Sublime would go on making music in several reincarnations. They began with the relatively short lived Long Beach Dub Allstars and currently as Sublime with Rome with only Eric Wilson remaining and featuring lead singer Rome Ramirez.

The Guy…
Sublime with Rome has some good moments but it is my opinion that their sound is not quite the direction that Bradley would have chosen if he was still with us. Sublime was a great band. Their entire catalog should be celebrated and the passion and novelty of their music came straight from Bradley’s heart. He was an incredible musician and is remembered as a happy, polite and fun loving guy. His legacy continues as Sublime is probably one of the few bands that have kept the ska/reggae sound alive in mainstream radio and that presence influences new bands and their music to this day.



Full album stream: Rise Against- “Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides and Covers (2000 – 2013)”

Rise Against are streaming their album “Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides and Covers (2000 – 2013)” in its entirety.

You can listen to it over here.

“Long Forgotten Songs” is due out Sept. 10th.

Rise Against’s most recent studio album, Endgame, was released in March 2011 on Interscope Records. Earlier this year they put out a 10th anniversary reissue of their second album “Revolutions Per Minute” on Fat Wreck Chords.



Contest: Win a signed CD and vinyl from Rise Against

Rise Against are gearing up to release their album “Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides and Covers (2000 – 2013)” on September 10, and we’ve teamed up with the band to give away a signed copy of the record on CD and vinyl.

All you have to do is click here (or scroll down) and fill out the form, plus you can check out the track list and watch the band talk about the album. You can also head here to pre-order the album.

We’ll notify the winner on September 10.



Rise Against stream “Sight Unseen” off upcoming “Long Forgotten Songs” album

Rise Against are streaming another song off their upcoming release, “Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides and Covers (2000 – 2013).”

This song, “Sight Unseen,” was recorded in January 2008 and previously released on a split 7” with Anti-Flag.  Fans of older Rise Against will definitely dig it.  Give it a listen below.

“Long Forgotten Songs” is due out Sept. 10th.  Pre-order it here.

Rise Against’s most recent studio album, Endgame, was released in March 2011 on Interscope Records. Earlier this year they put out a 10th anniversary reissue of their second album “Revolutions Per Minute” on Fat Wreck Chords.



Rise Against streaming cover of Nirvana’s “Sliver”

Rise Against are streaming another song off their upcoming release, “Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides and Covers (2000 – 2013).”

This song, “Sliver,” is one of 11 covers on the release, due out Sept. 10th. Check out the stream here, and pre-order “Long Forgotten Songs…” here.

You can also check out their cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” here.

Rise Against’s most recent studio album, Endgame, was released in March 2011 on Interscope Records. Earlier this year they put out a 10th anniversary reissue of their second album “Revolutions Per Minute” on Fat Wreck Chords.



Stream “The Ghost Of Tom Joad” from upcoming Rise Against B-sides album “Long Forgotten Songs”

Rise Against are streaming a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” right here.  The song, which will appear on the band’s upcoming B-sides album “Long Forgotten Songs”, was recorded live at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with the help of guests MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.

“Long Forgotten Songs” is due out on September 10, 2013 and you can pre-order it here.

Rise Against’s most recent studio album, Endgame, was released in March 2011 on Interscope Records. Earlier this year they put out a 10th anniversary reissue of their second album “Revolutions Per Minute” on Fat Wreck Chords.



Rise Against releases track list and pre-orders for upcoming B-Sides album “Long Forgotten Songs”

Rise Against have announced the track list for their upcoming b-sides/covers album “Long Forgotten Songs: b-sides and covers 2000 – 2013″.  Check it out here along with a video of the band discussing the motivation behind the release.

“Long Forgotten Songs” is due out on September 10, 2013 and you can pre-order it here.

Rise Against’s most recent studio album, Endgame, was released in March 2011 on Interscope Records. Earlier this year they put out a 10th anniversary reissue of their second album “Revolutions Per Minute” on Fat Wreck Chords.



Rise Against announce “Long Forgotten Songs: B-sides and Covers 2000 – 2013”

Rise Against have announced that they will release a b-sides/covers album entitled “Long Forgotten Songs: b-sides and covers 2000 – 2013” on September 10, 2013.

You watch a trailer for the album here.

Rise Against’s most recent studio album, Endgame, was released in March 2011 on Interscope Records. Earlier this year they put out a 10th anniversary reissue of their second album “Revolutions Per Minute” on Fat Wreck Chords. Pre-orders will be available on July 30th.



Sublime With Rome to tour Europe in November

After they go on tour with Pennywise or Descendents (or both), Sublime With Rome will be embarking on a short tour of Europe in November. Support acts, on selected dates, include Rise AgainstParkway Drive, Enter Shikari and Billy Talent. All the dates can be found here.

Sublime With Rome recently announced that they are expected to begin work on a new album towards the end of this year. They last released Yours Truly in July 2011 on Fueled By Ramen, which would be their only release with drummer Bud Gaugh, who left the band five months after its release.



Amnesia Rockfest 2013: The Good, the Bad, and the Truly Ugly

There was confusion and pain and aggravation… and scandal and frustration and appalling grossness. But there was frenzied energy and sonic euphoria and bone rattling vibrations. It was beautiful, touching, stirring, inspiring and overwhelming. Yes, there were truly memorable moments amidst the mayhem. The Amnesia Rockfest that took place last weekend on the waterfront of the tiny nine hundred soul village of Montebello, in between Montreal and Ottawa, was all of those things and more, making it both a true gritty DIY punk music festival, and an aberration of entertainment organization at the same time.

So where to start? I crawled out of my tent early on the first day of the festival to find the whole village overrun by punkers, metal heads, and college kids; more than 100 000 thousand of them and, as is wont, many with a beer in hand at seven in the morning. Villagers all over town had opted to welcome tenants and had parcelled out their prime suburban land to maximize the number of tents and RVs they could accommodate all over their humble abodes. If it weren’t for the music blaring incessantly from cheap car stereos, the abundance of red haired girls in short shorts, and the sweet stench of beer permeating the air of the whole neighbourhood, one might have mistaken the scene for a refugee camp.

And in that image—the refugee camp—I had unknowingly found the visual metaphor that would define the festival grounds for the next 48 hours. My first hunch that something was off with the Rockfest logistics came early enough on that first day as I strolled leisurely through the backstage entrance, grateful for my press/photographer pass, and made my way to the front of the main stage where in less than an hour tens of thousands of revelers would pour in to catch Mad Caddies and Less Than Jake who had the thankless task of getting the show on the road. The gates opened on time at 11AM, but what should have been a tidal wave of screaming fans rushing in turned out to be a slow trickle of smiling (they were the lucky ones) rockers trotting towards the stage. By the time Mad Caddies’ ska beats descended on the muddy field, perhaps one or two thousand people had made it in. An hour and a half later, when Less Than Jake took the stage and ska-ed up the place some more, 80% of ticket holders were still waiting in line to exchange the ticket they bought months ago for a bracelet, an ordeal that lasted for most over two hours and a half, for many somewhere around four hours, and even longer for a few providence-deprived punks.

When it was the Dropkick Murphys turn to attack the main stage at 5PM, thank god there was an endless sea of grateful punkers in front of them, and it was with their rowdy and rollicking brand of Celtic punk and infectious stage energy that the festival really started moving. Classics ‘Shipping Up to Boston’ and ‘State of Massachusetts’ were heard, and ‘Rose Tattoo’ as well from their latest record. It was a memorable gig with not a dull moment. In all, there were a hundred and fifty bands spread over five different stages and the line-up for the main stage alone made the Rockfest a worthy rival to the best punk festivals in North America, so you’ll forgive me if I spare you the setlist of every single show I attended and focus on some of the highlights, as decided by me, which means I’ll not mention Marilyn Manson in this piece again. He was there is all I’ll say.

Soon after the Dropkick Murphys, Rancid took to the stage for a power-hour of their greatest hits, including ‘Radio,’ ‘Nihilism,’ ‘Maxwell Murders,’ and ‘Ruby Soho,’  mainly taken from their earlier opus ‘Let’s Go’ and ‘And Out Come the Wolves,’ delivered with all the gusto and rambunctiousness these guys are known for. I hadn’t enjoyed them live in fifteen years, and though Tim Armstrong seemed, naturally, a bit older, it certainly didn’t show through his wild demeanor and crazy antics on the stage, the way it did, somewhat, with Dexter and Noodle and the rest of The Offspring crew, who delivered right after The Deftones a professional if tame and subdued—granted I had great expectations—performance to bring the Friday night to a close.

It was around dusk, perhaps during Social Distortion’s superb set (talk about a band that belongs on a stage right?), that the festival grounds began metaphorically bursting at the seams, and from whence came the great dichotomy between the truly awe-inspiring acts on the stage and the grotesquely awful scenes on the ground. It was also then that a certain anthropological distinction appeared between two kinds of attendees, i.e. the ‘hardcore’ punks and metalheads who thrive on blood, sweat, mud, and piss, and who won’t need for trivial things like toilets, food, or, for that matter, drinking water, so long as they can mosh to the sound of aggressive music and smuggle beer inside the premises (these dudes were having a great fucking time), and the mellower ‘good music, good booze, good friends’ attendees, who, if you asked them, would prefer not to suffer from dehydration because of the total absence of drinking water on the site, would prefer not to have to walk through a swamp of urine to use a portable toilet overflowing with fecal matter (and maybe do without the e-coli, if possible), would prefer not to have to stand in line an hour and a half for a hot dog, and would prefer not to have to walk ten miles at three in the morning because the last shuttle buses for the campgrounds were full and not coming back for them. I believe this distinction is at the core of the wildly different accounts of the festival that appeared in print and social media the past couple of days.

The next morning, the whole place had an aura of brokenness and defeat. Getting in wasn’t a problem, but then there wasn’t any music playing as the main stage, pulsing with staffers, lay in a state of disrepair. There’s a certain oddness to a music festival when no music is playing, as you end up noticing things around you rather than what’s on stage: punks walking with crutches, headbangers with their arm in a sling, boyfriends massaging girlfriends’ ankles under the shade of a tree (the one and only tree inside the gates, of course), trashcans overflowing with plastic bottles and food scraps, with pyramidal heaps and mounds of garbage besides them. Without the infusion of music, the place had the look, smell, and feel of an open air dumping ground. None of it would have mattered if only they’d gotten a show going.

Lagwagon, slanted for a noon performance on the main stage, had been rescheduled at a different time on a different stage, to their great relief one might add, as it afforded them a few extra hours of shuteye (some of them had had a rough night). The same situation befell the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who ended up breaking the ice a bit later than planned on a different stage with a drive and vigor that was simply contagious. After the Bosstones’ day-salvaging performance, and once the Transplants finally manned the main stage and college girls could finally get their dose of Travis Barker, all was forgotten and in the mosh pits the atmosphere was absolutely berserk.

The intensity never let up from that moment on, and after Transplants finished their set, which included a couple of new songs from their upcoming album, Pennywise took the stage and it was nice to see Jim Lindberg in front singing ‘Fuck Authority’ like it was 2002. Of course you can always count on Fletcher and Jim to get the mosh pits riled up, and it was during Pennywise’s set that the momentum in the pits reached a crescendo of motion, swell, and pulse; very exciting stuff indeed! After that the main stage belonged to headbangers for a couple of hours with Anthrax and Lamb of God on the bill, so the punks moved in throngs towards one of the smaller stages for the much anticipated Lagwagon set. And what a set it was! ‘Island of Shame,’ ‘Violin,’ ‘Lazy,’ ‘Coffee and Cigarettes,’ all delivered fast and loud to an overflowing crowd of moshers who could scarcely contain their joy. The smaller stage had better, crisper sound than the main stage and the Lagwagon boys seemed perfectly at home on it. It was one of the better moments of the festival, especially touching when they got going on NUFAN’s ‘Exit’ as a tribute to late Tony Sly, and it’s a shame that many fans missed it on account of the confusion over the venue and time changes.

Though Rise Against was the official headlining band awaited by all festival-goers, the band most anticipated by other punk bands playing the festival was clearly Black Flag (with Keith Morris), playing late in the second day on the same stage as Lagwagon. During their frenetic performance which included mostly well-known tracks like ‘Six Pack’ and ‘Wasted’ both sides of the stage featured a who’s who of the current punk scene. Finally, Rise Against appeared front and center at 1h30AM and delivered a well-balanced set, mixing the old and the new in just measure, which resulted in quite an irreproachable hour and a half of music from the punk heavyweights. It was most definitely worth hanging around for.

Unfortunately this overview of the Rockfest would not be complete if I failed to mention the truly shameful ‘pay to play’ scheme that was reported in the press in the days leading to the festival. The short of it is that emergent bands had to sell fifty tickets or pay the remainder of the 5000$ it amounted to in order to be allowed to play on a shitty stage at the top of a hill right at the festival entrance, far away from the action of the big boys stages, their time slot determined by how many tickets over the required fifty they managed to push. The whole thing, including some statements made by festival organizer Alex Martel to the effect that local band development was none of their concern, reeked of mercantilism and bad taste. For what it’s worth, following the media backlash this piece of news prompted, Alex Martel issued a statement in which he made amends and declared that all bands would be compensated after all. Perhaps too little too late for the festival’s reputation, as the damage was done, but still we’re glad for the few bucks these struggling bands will be getting in the end.

In short, if you went there planning on getting thrashed and battered in every possible way while listening to a mix of mind-blowing punk and metal bands comprising the best line-up ever offered for 80 bucks, you got served and then some! If, however, you headed to the festival expecting a good neighborly time and to be able to hold on to the basic precepts that define us as a civilized and modern society (i.e. food, shelter, safety), you may have felt cheated. Word to the wise for next year: twice the staff, three times the portable toilets, and for god’s sake drinking water galore. With the same kind of once-in-a-lifetime line-up and these common-sense issues resolved, next year’s Rockfest could be (nay, WILL be) the biggest and baddest festival in the Northeast.

Check back often for photo galleries of the event and another piece featuring a very pleasant conversation with Joey Cape!



Album Review: Rise Against – “RPM 10”

Rise Against’s “RPM 10” is one for collectors.  The reissue of Rise Against’s 2003 sophomore disc is a complete re-issue of all the “Revolutions per Minute” original tracks, plus a demo version of each track except “Dead Ringer” and “To the Core.”

The main criticism of later Rise Against works (“Endgame” in particular) is that the band  mellowed some of that bite that made them so dangerous, that they dwindled their fervor to accuse war criminals of their crimes.  But those accusations hadn’t yet been lobbied at Rise Against in 2003, when they were still new to most listeners outside of Chicago and when they were still unequivocally fired-up about everything. “Revolutions Per Minute” is the album that captures a moment in time where there was a new political beast to rally against, and screaming “Fuck George Bush” was still raw.

In retrospect, the album is an interesting point in their career- It’s the first Rise Against record written entirely after the band’s formation.  At the time, Rise Against was on the edge of changing labels and obtaining some mainstream success (for better or worse) with “Swing Life Away” off of “Siren Song…” Their previous release, “The Unraveling”, was a strong album with some great songs by a band who hadn’t entirely found their sound yet.  “RPM” was the moment when the blend of Hardcore and Punk, political and personal, met up just right.

The intensity of the original release is still felt here, a decade later.  For a reactionary album to a war now winding down, the lyrics still cut, and still hold a charged meaning.  On “Blood Red, White and Blue,”  the lyrics “Would God Bless … a war based on pride? …   a money-hungry government?  … the Sweatshops?” still turn a spotlight onto those who labor without recognition, help, or basic rights.  Maybe it’s held up so well because the best albums always seem born of conflict, whether it be the aggravation over the dole, Vietnam, poverty,“War on Terror”, or the war on drugs.  With “RPM”, Rise Against is singing about something, and that driven purpose spits into even the most non-political songs with heavy rhythm sections and words clawing their way out.

The main criticism of “RPM 10” is the lack of new material.  There are no hidden B-sides here, no unheard tracks.  In fact, the hidden track from the original “Revolutions Per Minute” is missing from the re-issue. The one song I was most looking forward to hearing a demo version, “To The Core” is one of two songs without a demo.  Was this song always born of so much piss and vinegar?  The world may never know…

As a whole, the demos sound surprisingly clean and similar to the released songs on the original “Revolutions Per Minute.”  While there is an artistic merit to a vision carried out almost unchanged from inception to release, I find it a bit hard to believe a newer band could find nothing to improve on at the final recordings.   If you get your hands on “RPM 10”, try playing the demo followed directly by the released version of the same song (the album is released as the “Revolutions Per Minute” track list, followed by the demos in the same order).  In the majority of songs, the differences are so slight only music nerds and die-hard Rise Against fans will have many comments.

The original “RPM” is a 5 star album.  It’s progressive, it’s political, it’s pissed off, it’s perfect.  “RPM 10” however, doesn’t add anything new to the conversation.  While “RPM 10” doesn’t diminish the legacy of  the original it seems, sadly, like a money grab.

“RPM 10” is out now.  The reissue, unlike the original album, is also available on Spotify.

4.5/5 Stars



Rise Against streams “Heaven Knows” demo

Rise Against is streaming another demo track, this time for “Heaven Knows”. The song  is part of the ten-track bonus on “RPM 10”, the tenth anniversary edition of “Revolutions Per Minute.  The new edition of the album that brought the Chicago band into the spotlight was released yesterday on Fat Wreck Chords .

You can listen to the song here.



Video Interview: Tim McIlrath talks about war, politics and more

Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath was interviewed by Music Talks recently. In the interview he discussed war, punk rock and more.

You can check out the interview here.

Rise Against’s most recent studio album, Endgame, was released in March 2011 on Interscope Records. Next week, they are releasing a 10th anniversary reissue of their second album Revolutions Per Minute, and recently streamed a demo version of one of the album’s songs “Like the Angel“, which will appear on the reissue.



Rise Against to begin work on new album next year

Back in January of this year, we reported that Rise Against had plans to to begin work on a new album, which they have described as “fast and screamy”, after they take a break from playing shows. Well, yesterday, bassist Joe Principe was interviewed by Absolute Punk, and confirmed that they will begin work on their new album next year. Here’s what he had to say:

“We have just a couple more shows throughout the year. We’re really focusing on taking some time off and regrouping, we’ve been touring pretty heavily since we started the band. But I’m sure at the end of the year, beginning of next year we’ll start working on a new record, which I’m really looking forward to because I think we’ll be so hungry for new songs after so much time off. I know for me personally I’ve been writing nonstop on my own. We’ll be looking forward to getting back in the room together for sure.”

Rise Against’s most recent studio album, Endgame, was released in March 2011 on Interscope Records. Next week, they are releasing a 10th anniversary reissue of their second album Revolutions Per Minute, and recently streamed a demo version of one of the album’s songs “Like the Angel“, which will appear on the reissue.