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Review: Rise Against; Endgame

I know I should have reviewed this last week, but I've been busy. So grab your tea and biscuits, because this is going to be a  good review.

Universally known good boys, PETA loved and generally nice band Rise Against are back after a 3 year gap. With a new album released, named Endgame, will this album be their swansong? We all certainly hope not, as many of us wish they would stay around a little bit longer. The question is, will this really be their endgame?

Rise Against are known for being a straight edge band, who have rules the new Punk scene since 1999, and have so many good songs its hard to name them all. This band boasts credentials up to their eyeballs, and countless awards, most notably the award for "most environmentally sound group" from PETA. So, can they deliver some more of their punky goodness? Let's find out.

The album begins with the song Architects, and I'm happy to say that this is the Rise Against people fell in love with in 1999. With the opening the floodgates of more to come, the band quickly lay their cards on the table, and sacrifice nothing to keep themselves in the game. This song kicks off in the conventional way, with guitars strumming, slowly followed by the fast, well timed drumming we've all come to expect. This is the Rise Against we've all come to love. Vocals well written, accompanied by smooth guitars and perfectly positioned drums. Punk heaven. Pure. Punk. Heaven.

Help Is On The Way follows closely, already opening in the same way Almost Easy by Avenged Sevenfold does. Deep, placed vocals add an edge to this song, keeping you hooked and listening. This song sounds a lot like Chamber The Cartridge from their The Sufferer And The Witness album. With a metalcore infusion around 2:15. A good song, my personal favourite on this album.

Make It Stop (Septembers Children) is the next song, with a deeper vibe stretching from the outset. With lyrics such as "bang bang goes the coffin nails" and "eighteen years pushed to the ledge, it's come to this", this song symbolizes the September Gay Suicides in 2010, in which 5 students committed suicide due to bullying about their sexuality. A deep song, with a lot of meaning behind it.

Disparity By Design follows, which is indeed a quick song. Again, this song holds meaning, but this meaning is mainly about the flaws behind the "God put us here" reasoning founded by all Christians. Mainly saying how can there be war if there is a God? Sublime messages, such as the "You all believe in fairy tales" lines around 2:09 only increase this theory. Nevertheless, a very, very catchy song which even your Nan will love.

Satellite is the next order of business. A slower, but a very, very, very well versed song. Basic lyrics with a guitar beat in the background, followed by bass and then the drums. My second favourite song on the album, just because it is so good. This relates back to their earlier albums, mainly Transistor Revolt.

Midnight Hands swiftly follows, and straight from the start, it sounds a lot darker, with a deep, reverberating bass, then straight into the flow of punk, although there sounds like a little bit of Disturbed at slight intervals. The lyrics for this song are expertly written, and keeps you listening, right up to the end of the song, in which case you are hoping and crying for more.

More comes in the form of Survivor Guilt, and this song is designed to be slower than the ones that come before it. It steadily gets heavier, until it climaxes and goes into the classic Rise Against mode, keeping your ears happy until they start dancing across your face. A headbangers song, and a damn decent one at that. What could possibly top this?

Broken Mirrors can. A deeper, grungier feel to this song keeps you listening, and then punches you hard in the face with the expertly mastered lyrics, with the instruments a measly a side dish to the mastery of the song. With a dark feel, this song reminds me of the early Nirvana, and of The Smashing Pumpkins in places. A truly nice song, and one that keeps the album in full flow.

Wait For Me is the slowest starting song on the album, but what it lacks in a start, it makes up for in catchy and well written tones. The slowest song on the album, and probably the one which will make them even more popular than they are now. Again, a song that even your Nan's optician will love. A really, really catchy song which will keep people interested in the album.

A Gentlemen's Coup then follows this, and the quick, punky delight is back. The song begins a lot like most of the songs off of Siren Song Of The Counter Cult. Heavier than the last song, this rock track will never tire, bore and keep you entertained for 3 minutes and 46 seconds. The 3rd to last track on the album, one which is well placed to keep you listening.

The penultimate song, This Is Letting Go doesn't let go of the never dwindling vibe of the band, and keep you listening in the same way the other songs do. This song is really catchy, and will stay in the backs of peoples minds the way other songs do, causing random outbursts of songs in really weird places. It's just a pity this means that it's almost the end of the album.

The final song, the title song of the album. Endgame kicks off with a deep bass, followed by the well played drums and guitar. This song is an excellent example of what a band can do when they get back to their roots, and sounds like the majority of their songs pre-2006. This song, unfortunately, means the end of the album, and one which I has taken me back to when I first started listening to rock and punk and metal. I used to listen to the over-produced, cheesy pop bands, but this band, along with The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and many countless others, such as Sum 41 and Blink-182 opened my eyes to what else was out there. I never doubt that without these bands, this music, which I love and listen to on a minutely basis, that I would probably be listening to crappy, over-marketed and over-produced groups such as The Wanted and others like that.

I'd usually do a couple of criticisms right about now, but, there is actually none. Shit all. Nothing. It's just a good album, which everyone should listen to. Don't knock before you try. You don't knock Calpol without a little taste now, do you?

Well, that's it. The end of the review. If you have any doubts about this album, just listen to the songs on Youtube or Spotify or We7 or Last FM or whatever else people use. You won't be disappointed.

Album Scores:

Songs on album - 5/5
Basic album score - 5/5
Hooks - 5/5
Enjoy-ability - 5/5
Miscellaneous score - 5/5

Overall - 25/25 - Just get the damn album, do anything to get it. Sell parts of your body to terrorists, sell herbs and spices to stoners, or rent out your garden shed to Mexicans. Do whatever you can to get this album. Just do it. No questions.
Review: Rise Against; Endgame Review: Rise Against; Endgame Reviewed by Matt Large on Monday, July 11, 2011 Rating: 5

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