Rise Against

Nowhere Generation

Written by: PP on 20/07/2021 18:01:18

Four years ago, "Wolves" was in many ways a return to form by Rise Against. It remains an underappreciated album with a great lyrical universe and a grittier sound, arguably their rawest since "The Sufferer And The Witness", which is why it's a shame to see the band go in what feels like an opposite direction on "Nowhere Generation".

A career extension of sorts, their ninth album sounds exactly like you would expect a Rise Against album to sound like. There are a couple of fast bangers ("Talking To Ourselves" is one of the best songs on the record), the usual acoustic ballad ("Forfeit"), and a whole bunch of anthemic, sing-along friendly political punk songs (see: title track) that frankly feel indistinguishable from most of their output since "Appeal To Reason".

So why's that a problem? Many bands like Bad Religion have been following a formula to their songwriting for decades now without issue, I hear you say.

Well, it boils down to two factors.

One, the band wrote such great records early on in their career where vocalist Tim McIlrath demonstrated his raw, throaty passion on record, but due to the strain that was left on his vocal cords, he hasn't been able to perform at the same level ever since. As such, a song like "Sudden Urge" is an example where you might imagine passion to violently pierce through the expression during its chorus, but because the vocals come across too polished and clean for the purpose, that passion just isn't felt like it used to be back in the day.

Two, there's no denying that their songwriting is formulaic. It's way too effortless for Rise Against to write songs like "Monarch" and "Sounds Like" with anthemic choruses that are suitable for the radio waves and larger club venues alike. But what's missing are tracks like "Ready To Fall" or even "House On Fire". Save for maybe the title track, there just isn't enough material here to make you go wow, this is great.

Simply put, it's just too mainstream and polished to have much relevance in 2021 outside of allowing Rise Against to continue touring for the foreseeable future. It says a lot when the best way to describe "Nowhere Generation" is simply yet another Rise Against album.

7

Download: Nowhere Generation, Talking To Ourselves, Monarch
For the fans of: Authority Zero, Bad Religion, Good Riddance, The Shell Corporation
Listen: Facebook

Release date 04.06.2021
Spinefarm Records / Loma Vista Recordings

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