Rise Against

The Sufferer & The Witness

Written by: PP on 16/07/2006 20:51:59

Whenever someone argues that punk is dead, I usually point them into the direction of any of the Rise Against albums. Sooner than later, their opinion usually changes, as the band is the prime example of the original punk ethics and DIY politics. The chicago hardcore punk quintet started out deep in the underground and slowly developed a loyal and loving fanbase, and today they are one of the biggest punk bands of the 21st century. Each album they've produced are classified as masterpieces within the genre, and have already influenced countless bands.

"The Sufferer And The Witness" is the bands fourth album and really their major label debut (though "Siren.." was released on Geffen, it was recorded before the jump), and to all of our relief the band hasn't removed any of their political criticism or fine-tuned their music any more mass-friendly. Tim's primal screams in "Ready To Fall" are still as harshly soared as they were during "The Unraveling"-era, and "Bricks" is a drastically fast punk rock anthem about the war, though the message is hidden well below the surface. In fact, almost all Rise Against songs are so cleverly written that they would be suitable for use in any English poetry analysis classes, as their points are not always straight forward "I hate George" messages, but rather witty and savvy political and social commentary requiring a good understanding of current events and recent history in order to decypher their real meanings. "Drones" has an infectiously catchy chorus, but even so the song maintains the right amount of barely restrained aggression we have grown to expect from the band behind classics like "Give It All" and "State Of The Union".

The only criticism - and I really mean the only, every other song is a masterpiece - to the album is the slow, acoustic song "Roadside", which clearly is just a major-label obligation. It's basically the album's "Swing Life Away", where the band effectively contrasts the pace and belligerency they strongly present on the rest of the album. And even though many bands can ruin albums with just one acoustic song, "Roadside" isn't all that bad anyway, and it definitely doesn't have a chance of destroying the brilliancy of the other songs on the album.

Rise Against has produced their fourth album and it will inevitably end up as yet another classic in due time. Buy it now, and in 20 years time you'll be able to say "I was there".


Download: Drones, Ready To Fall, Bricks
For the fans of: Strike Anywhere, Good Riddance, Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.07.2006

Alexisonfire & Rise Against May 4th 2005
Rise Against @ Taste Of Chaos 2005
Rise Against @ Give It A Name 2005

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