Album Review: Rise Against’s Endgame

Erin Potter, Staff Writer

Rise Against came out with their new album “Endgame” earlier this year. Hailing from Chicago, they were formed in 1999, and I’ve been a fan since 2005 when the album “Siren Song of the Counter Culture” came out. Their other albums include “The Unraveling,” “Revolutions Per Minute,” “The Sufferer and the Witness” and “Appeal to Reason.” The earlier albums were a bit more aggressive, but the passion and controversial issues are still present, now that their aggression has diminished.
The band has continued to prove a point with their new material, addressing issues such as gay teen suicide, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Hurricane Katrina. Many people believe the band is becoming more of a hard rock band and less punk than they once were. I still love Rise Against, even if the songs aren’t as aggressive anymore. The lyrics are what really catch my attention and keep me listening. Lead singer Tim McIlrath’s unique voice grabs one’s attention right away and the guitar riffs can be so memorable.
One of the most overplayed songs is “Help Is On the Way,” which isn’t my favorite track on “Endgame” most likely for that reason. “Make It Stop (September’s Children)” is a song about the wave of gay teen suicides that occurred in September of last year. This song is probably the best example of how much this band has changed since their earlier productions. A delayed guitar and a melody provided by a chorus of children kick the track off. The power of the lyrics opens the album up and doesn’t make it seem so much like it was written for the radio.
There might not be as many mosh-worthy songs on this album, but the songs on “Endgame” aren’t watered down in any way. It’s more accessible, more mainstream and less aggressive. I love every album and I find the band’s evolution enjoyable to watch. The only thing that I find annoying is the fact that the band is becoming more mainstream. Radio can sometimes kill a band’s success in that everybody will be listening to them just because their music is there and true fans might turn away from it. I have a favorite song on each album that they’ve recorded and I don’t feel that Rise Against’s becoming less punk takes away from the power of their music. I won’t let the radio or the band’s changing sound ruin my love for them and I advise everyone to check out all of their material!

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