Album Review

Rise Against "Endgame"

Aaron George
It’s difficult to not want to hate Endgame, the new album from Rise Against for largely the same reasons it has been difficult to not want to hate everything the band has done after 2003’s Revolutions per Minute. It’s sort of the classic “sell out” story: their popularity, their blatant and shameless mainstreaming of “rebellion”, their complete lack of growth in any area save lyrics and production quality, it all saps the bands credibility. Endgame may as well be called Appeal to Reason, which may as well be called The Sufferer & the Witness, which may as well be Siren Song of the Counterculture, which may as well be called we’re not going to be as good from this point on.

The target audience of this sort of music, power chord laced “punk” with a steady hammering rhythm, will always be sixteen to twenty something year old men, and with national distribution, the band could keep this up for years to come in theory and always have an audience. But, for those who liked the band years ago, and have since changed as people, you won’t find anything here that they didn’t get right on their first two albums.

I guess I’m being a tad harsh, I am admittedly biased because I was one of those kids who picked up Revolutions and was in heaven...but I can’t help but be disappointed by the release of yet another album of so many two to three minute sessions of neutered angst, anger, and all the fun and chaotic things that draw people to the sort of music Rise Against once did so well. It’s not that the music is bad, it’s pretty difficult to mess up this formula, but after six albums that span an entire decade, didn’t they ever want to try anything new?

Bottom line, if you are at all interested in this band, listen to The Unraveling and Revolutions per Minute. The sound quality is a tad poor in comparison, but the music was alive and didn't sound like something churned out for lack of anything better to do or any other way of making a buck.