Rise Against – The Violence review

This is not Monday’s post. This is just a bonus one for this week, considering the release of this single :).

2016 was supposed to be a good year in music, for me anyway. With Avenged Sevenfold (my 3rd favorite band after Queen and Rise Against) and Metallica (my 5th one, after the first 3 and U2) releasing albums, one would think that I should have been excited. And I was, until I heard the two title tracks from both albums and I couldn’t help but cringe. But more on that in another post.

Enter 2017 and some 3 days ago, on Tuesday, Rise Against dropped a serious hint with regards to a new album release this year. While the album is set to be released in June, Thursday the band released a single from it called The Violence. Before this, they also left a teaser of the song on their Facebook page.

And…it’s good. Not “Give It All” good, but passable. The tl;dr version of this is: “it’s the same thing they’ve been releasing roughly since Revolutions Per Minute”. The same overused song structure of intro, verses, chorus, verses, chorus, bridge, slightly modified chorus they’ve used on basically every song on Appeal To Reason, Endgame and The Black Market and on several songs from Siren Song of the Counter Culture, The Sufferer and the Witness and Revolutions Per Minute. But it works. I don’t know how, but it works. I mean, let’s look a little bit into the past.

Angus Young of AC/DC once said this: “I’m sick and tired of people saying that we put out 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve put out 12 albums that sound exactly the same”. Replace AC/DC with Rise Against, Angus Young with Zach Blair and 12 with 7 (or 6, if you feel like a generous God) and you get exactly what Rise Against has been putting out for the last decade and a half, with very few exceptions.

But it works. I liked the song. I was hooked to it right from the teaser. The lyrics, while not their best, are what you expect from them. They seem to be sort of a mix between “I Don’t Wanna Be Here Anymore” and “People Live Here”. There is no screaming on this song and I’ll be honest with you, I miss it a bit. I know Tim doesn’t have the same voice as 10 years ago, but still, it’s a bit too mellow and the song does seem to be a bit over polished. I kinda miss the sound of Siren Song and Sufferer.

Nevertheless, I am looking forward to this album. Why am I looking forward to it when I know it’s probably going to be the same? Because people like familiarity. And besides, one of the things I guide most of my decisions is “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”. Sure, some innovation might work for Rise Against, but it very well may fail. I liked Sudden Life from their previous album, but I seem to be in the minority, and that song was a step away from their usual sound. And I’d much rather hear songs like this that I know will grow on me than hear songs which try all so much (you know what single I’m talking about).


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