ALBUM: Rise Against – The Black Market ★★★★☆

RA TBMArtist: Rise Against

Album: The Black Market

Release Date: July 15th 2014

Label: DGC/Interscope

Rise Against are one of the most important bands of our generation, their music contains messages and issues that affect all of us. Globally and personally we can all relate to the music and lyrics of Rise Against and frontman Tim McIlrath. The messages aren’t overwhelming, as they are accompanied by adrenaline fuelled punk rock, and boy are they good at it. This being their seventh album now, have they run out of things to say? Have they run out of steam?

‘The Great Die-Off’  softly starts off before bursting into life with a rapid pace and an undeniable catchiness to it that grabs your attention straight from the off. It’s punchy, direct and lays out the albums intentions from the start. ‘I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore’  carries on with that punk pace and power and packed with huge hooks and melodies, this is a blistering beginning from the 4 piece. The summer vibes and daydreaming creep in during ‘Tragedy + Time’,  a fantastically constructed pop punk song that has all the feels, and reflection period.

The title track is the sound of desperation reaching out for a helping hand in the form of a slightly jazzed up rock behemoth that sounds like it was made for arenas, which the band are not far off with their widespread appeal and tremendous live show. ‘The Eco-Terrorist In Me’  is a fast-paced slice of colossal punk that has the unshakeable coupling of the message and hardcore roots that firmly plant it’s feet into the turf of victory, a definite crowd pleaser with its high energy levels maintaining throughout. ‘Sudden Life’  has a chorus that floats around in between the verses and really elevates this song into the stratosphere before harshly bringing it back down to earth. ‘A Beautiful Indifference’  leaves us feeling a little…indifferent. It’s a decent enough track, but adding a gang chant that sounds straight off a Black Veil Brides record and it gives the song a ‘cheesy’ element to it.

A dirty southern riff opens up ‘Zero Visibility’  and the band crack on with a swagger and groove before they go into a trademark mid-paced chorus that shines brighter than a thousand suns. The vocals in the verses almost sound like they’re being sang through a megaphone and makes this song feel like a Public Service Announcement. A tactful ploy from a band with a lot to say, and a lot of people who will listen. It wouldn’t be a Rise Against record without an acoustic led diddly now would it? ‘People Live Here’  is a beautifully crafted piece of song writing with powerful and thought provoking lyrics. The bands acoustic numbers have always been the ones with the clearest and most substantial messages, ones that always hit home with current events from all over the world. This is possibly the best one yet, strings accompany the subtle instrumentation as you drift off in thought to be serenaded by the delicate vocals of Tim McIlrath.

‘Bridges’  ends the album and is also one of the weaker tracks, also the song just sort of, ends. A disappointing end to a brilliant album from the punk veterans with more to say now than ever.