Rise Against is an American punk rock band from Chicago, Illinois that was formed in 1999. Their current line-up consists of four members: Tim McIlrath (vocals, guitar), Joe Principe (bass guitar), Brandon Barnes (drums), and Zach Blair (guitar). To date, Rise Against has released five albums, a rare material EP, and one DVD.
Rise Against rose to fame with their first two major label releases, Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004) and The Sufferer & the Witness (2006), with hits such as "Give It All", "Swing Life Away", "Ready to Fall", "Prayer of the Refugee", and "The Good Left Undone". Their most recent studio album, Appeal to Reason, was released in North America on October 7, 2008.
With hardcore anthems that raged against teen apathy in the Bush era, these Chicagoans began as a thinking punk's alternative to the chain-wallet angst of groups like Good Charlotte and A Simple Plan. Then they cracked the Top 10 with 2006's excellent The Sufferer and the Witness — and now they're wondering out loud if their message got muddled on the way to the Warped Tour. Appeal to Reason is an honest appraisal of their rise from the indie trenches into the mainstream. "Our shoulders bear an awful weight," singer Tim McIlrath admits on "The Strength to Go On," and on "Entertainment," he worries, "All we are is entertainment/Caught up in our own derangement."
The politics on Appeal to Reason are more personal than those of most agit-punk bands: The ambivalent aggro-folk track "Hero of War," for instance, draws its lyrics from actual stories Rise Against heard from soldiers in Iraq. And the songs are driven by an ever-sharpening pop sensibility. Producer Bill Stevenson dirties up the chugga-chugga riffs with the Reagan-era spit shine of bands like Fugazi and Black Flag, but big choruses and radio-friendly hooks still anchor the tunes. "Collapse (Post-Amerika)" bounces on a skate-punk pogo beat and a shout-along refrain of "This is not a test/This is cardiac arrest!" And the power ballad "Audience of One" finds McIlrath growl-crooning with real force: "Maybe we've outgrown all the things that we once loved/Run away/But what are we running from?" Rise Against may be nervous about leaving the underground behind, but with sharp songs like these, they're ready for the rest of the world.
Long Forgotten Sons
Re-Education (Through Labor) <-- single.
The Dirt Whispered
From Heads Unworthy
The Strength To Go On
Audience Of One
Hero Of War