Album Review: Rise Against – The Black Market

Rise Against - The Black MarketI have always enjoyed watching bands grow, mature, and most importantly, succeed in the music world.

Honestly, if it were not for all the bands out there, this blog, or whatever you want to call it, probably would not have lasted as long as it has.

Like many of you, I don’t always stay a fan of a band throughout their journey due to  conflict between the listener (me) and the the approach that the band may take on over the years.  Sometimes it has to do with change in style due to bandmates coming and going. I can name off a handful of bands right now that I feel that has happened to, but I would rather get to my point.

Rise Against are definitely a band that I have grown with over the years and have remained a fan.  The Chicago punk rockers have more or less transformed themselves into outspoken rock heroes without losing that punk edge that helped capture me as a fan early on.  As they moved from the small stages to headlining, I was there never growing tired of what they continued to push.  Sure, bandmates have come and gone, but I just feel Rise Against never lost their initial style.

With that said, their latest release, The Black Market, is their most radio-friendly album I have heard and I am ok with that.  I have listened to this album over and over and I must say, I am digging it more and more with each listen.

The Black Market is more something that fits in with material you might hear from the likes of  Foo Fighters or Thirty Seconds To Mars at times, but don’t threat, there is plenty of that signature Rise Against contained we all know and love.

If anyone knows anything about Rise Against, it is that they love to speak their minds in their material.  This album certainly showcases that with plenty of pleads for change, forgiveness, and acceptance.

“The Great Die-Off” started the album off with such force as Tim McIlrath and crew rocked out and soon declared “we want it all and we want it now” over and over.  I loved the hammering of the bass and heavy drumming throughout.  Full of just force and just overly catchy, this track is why I will always be a Rise Against fan.

“I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore” was the first single off of this album and with good reason, this track is amazing.  From start to finish, this song is just a beast.  Mixed with plenty of punk, rock, and even a touch of hardcore, this track about potentially giving up is forceful and likable.

“Tragedy + Time” sounded like a sequel of “Ready To Fall”, a track from the band’s previous album The Sufferer & the Witness.  Once again, McIlrath sung about someone on a rooftop, but this time it’s someone different and they were looking for reasons to continue on.

I would not be surprised if the next single off this album was the title track “The Black Market”.  I loved the break-downs on this track almost as much as the singing.  I have the feeling this song is going to get some attention.

I loved “The Eco-Terrorist In Me” as it started off more old school Rise Against with McIlrath clearly giving it his all vocally.  “When it all comes down will you say you did everything you could” repeated throughout with the rest of the band playing their hearts out.

“A Beautiful Indifference” carried that sound that make me think of Thirty Seconds To Mars.  Don’t worry folks, it is not bad at all and I think plenty of people will be thinking the same  “Methadone” was another track that would slay during a arena show.

“Zero Visibility” sounded a little astray from the other tracks at the beginning but soon conformed with the rest.  I liked the change ups throughout the track and especially the lyrics of defeat and victory. The last 1:30 minutes of the song was pretty bad ass too.

“People Live Here” was really a song of closure for me for another Rise Against track.  For years, “Swing Life Away” haunted me as the song once was deemed “our song” between yours truly and someone that destroyed my heart.  Even though I am over that part of my life, “Swing Life Away”, when heard, always seemed to try and cut open that healed wound.  This track alone hit me in a good way and literally brought a smile to my face.

Rise Against have continually polished their sound making necessary changes that ultimately have resulted in maintaining and building upon their fan base.  I know I said they sound more rock than punk earlier, but that is ok.  They have not lost their sound at all and continue to prove to me they are a strong act with no intentions of slowing it down.

I will admit,  when Rancid opened up for Rise Against in 2009, I was confused and felt it should have been the other way around.  Years later Bad Religion did the same.  It occurred to me though while Rancid and Bad Religion will always be two of my favorite bands, it is Rise Against’s time to shine and they deserve to be headliners.  They have worked so hard and continue to impress this fan, that is a fact.

Having have the opportunity to have done volunteer work with 3/4 of the band, I know they are quality musicians and care about humanity almost more than touring.  For more on that, check out my post I wrote up a few years back.

The Black Market is on sale at pretty much every record store and retail giant out there.



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