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Punk veterans rise to occasion

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By Rafael Rodriguez / Staff Writer

By Rafael Rodriguez / Staff Writer

Rise Against, an American punk rock band also known for living a straight edge life style, just released its new album, “EndGame,” and suffice to say this album shows how the band has evolved. Like many of Rise Against’s past albums, the lyrics tend to deal mainly with political issues, like Hurricane Katrina or the Gulf oil spill.

Though these subjects are grim, the band makes them into a positive “what if things were different” point of view. The overall message the band portrays in this album is that society has the power to change the world and make it better; or could all just stand and watch as it crumbles.

The first track, “Architects,” reflects clearly what the album is about and what listeners will be hearing for the next half-hour or so. The song is about how society seems to follow the people in power and have no feeling of trying to better it for themselves or for their fellow man. The band seems almost disgruntled by the fact that people don’t do anything.

This especially seems so when Tim Mclraths, the lead singer, screams “Do you care to be the layer of the bricks that seal your fate / or would you rather be the architect of what we might create?”

The next song “Help is on the Way” deals with Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill and how these tragedies were handled. It portrays how people only seemed to care for the disasters when they were shown on the news, and once they had stopped being publicized, everyone had thought it was over and it was time to move on from them, when in reality the disaster was still in going on.

The song “Make it Stop (Decembers Children)” takes a stance against school bullying and how it should be stopped before it leads to suicides and shootings. The band also gets into political areas with songs like “Disparity by Design,” where it states that the current government system is all based on who you know and what type of family you’re born into, and that these factors will determine one’s fate in life.

Of all the songs, the most powerful lyrics come from the title track, “EndGame.” The song is about an apocalyptic outcome where mankind is unable to see its destructive ways of living and that will lead to society’s demise, but, how in contrast it will lead to the change and betterment of mankind.

As powerful as the lyrics are on this album, the vocals and instrumentals are equally as enticing. Each song has a unique heavy guitar riff that goes along well with the lyrics, occasionally speeding up or slowing down to give more emphasis in what Mclrath is screaming.

It has a punk sort of feel, with the lead singer yelling at times, and fast paced drum beats that occur in many of the songs. However, it is friendly enough that those unfamiliar with punk will find it enjoyable.

There are many catchy songs on this album that will give both punk and rock fans a run for their money. While “EndGame,” sounds different from past Rise Against albums, it does not disappoint. It gives the intellectual mind something to think about and it gives the ears something excellent to listen to.

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