Happy New Year all, and welcome to the first 2013 edition of Vie’s Verses! This year, I would like to start a new segment for my column that will pop up on occasion — bands we don’t cover enough. At Hard Rock Hideout we strive to bring you the most diverse collection of hard rock bands that we can. From the latest rising stars to the old classics, Hard Rock Hideout attempts to discuss them all. However, every now and again, there is a band that just falls through the cracks.
Hence, the new segment, where I will do my best to pay homage to a band that just hasn’t been covered enough. Hopefully it will encourage you to seek out their music and give them a try. It’s the New Year, the perfect time to try and get yourself hooked on some new music, or a band that you may have missed. For this inaugural segment, I’d like to discuss a band that I have fallen in love with recently, Rise Against.
Best described as modern punk, Rise Against is a hard rock band from Chicago, Illinois that formed in 1999 and found some commercial success starting in 2004 with the release of their commercial debut album Siren Song Of The Counter Culture. Some rock lovers would be quick to dismiss Rise Against as mainstream pop and lump them in with the likes of Shinedown, or Nickelback, albeit not as enjoyable. That’s a shameful way to portray a band that is as deep and talented as Rise Against. This is a band that has their own, unique, signature style, and if anything, they remind me more of Foo Fighters.
The band’s most recent album is Endgame, and while it is a strong and solid record, it is their prior release, Appeal To Reason, that really turned me into a fan. Filled with gems like “The Dirt Whispered,” “Audience Of One,” and the band’s best song, “Savior,” Appeal To Reason is a solid record containing monster hits of hard rock beauty. If you are new to the band, Appeal To Reason should be the first album that you listen to. It serves as an excellent introduction to Rise Against as well as showing off their abilities both musically and lyrically.
Lead singer/songwriter Tim McIlrath is a poetic genius when it comes to crafting lyrics. Whether he is posting his heart on his sleeve (“Audience Of One”), telling an amazing and heart-wrenching story (“Hero Of War”), or trying his best to rationalize the end of a relationship (“This Is Letting Go”), McIlrath’s lyrics are always gems. Beautifully stated, carefully constructed, and well thought out, most of the lyrics McIlrath writes have deep, multiple layers of messages contained within. On the surface they appear to be a simple love story, break-up story, etc. But digging deeper can reveal a political mindset, a war torn backdrop, or a diatribe on the current state of our union. And while it was the music of Rise Against that drew me into the band, it is the lyrics that kept me a fan. I could spend weeks dissecting the multiple messages contained within most Rise Against songs.
Additional band members Joe Principe (bass guitar), Brandon Barnes (drums), and Zach Blair (lead guitar) fit exceptionally well with McIlrath. Their music brings out the best in his vocals and the musical creativity is a perfect fit for the voice that leads the songs. The chords, changes, and leads are as artfully crafted as the lyrics. All four band members are insanely talented and their dedication to the art of making music shows on each of the bands releases. From their indie debut (The Unravelling) to their most recent release (Endgame) every Rise Against album is a beauty, filled with hard hitting, rocking songs that have depth and plenty of replay value.
If you are interesting in checking out a “new-to-you” band this year, I highly recommend Rise Against. Start with Appeal To Reason and then pick any of their albums after that. I can almost guarantee that you will eventually want to own their entire catalog. And if not, you will at least enjoy what you have heard from them and will be falling in love with a new band that may just enter your favorites list.
And if you know Rise Against, drop a line in the comments section and tell us what you think. Want to see more Bands We Don’t Cover Enough? Drop that in the comments as well!
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