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Album Review: Nowhere Generation by Rise Against

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Rise Against is a four-piece punk rock band from Chicago. While they had their start in 1999, they didn't really gain international fame until their break-through fifth studio album, Appeal to Reason. From touring with big name artists and having their music in video games, this set the stage for their future. Nowhere Generation marks the band's ninth studio album.

The first track from the album is The Numbers. The track opens up with a quick sample from a French political track. After the quick introduction, we are greeted by your usual Rise Against sound and Tim's vocals. It just seems like they're using their usual formula that they've used the past few years, so there's really nothing new or exciting from this track. Other than that, they use this track to talk about how we are in a "Golden Age" of resistance movements.

Sudden Urge opens up with more energetic guitars and bass instruments compared to the previous track. I also enjoy the vocals a bit more since it's reminding me of some of Rise Against's tracks on older albums. It also seems like he's embracing more anger on this track, even though Tim talks about that not generally being his 'baseline'. He's basically talking about how everything is broken in the United States and how he just wants to watch everything to just burn to the ground.

Nowhere Generation was one of the only singles I listened to from this album before this release. While it's definitely one of their toned down tracks, I actually really enjoyed listening to this one. Even though the instrumentation is toned down during the verses, it's still packed with enough energy to keep this album rolling. Tim talks a lot about how millennials and Gen Z have to pick up the slack for what other generations have done to the country. He also talks about how the 'American Dream' is dead for these generations.
 
Talking To Ourselves is a bit more lackluster in my opinion. While they have some decent guitar work towards the beginning, it just kind of cuts out and becomes bland. As stated before, they're following a formula that they've sort of created over the years, and using things that other bands have tried. Other than that, we have some more politically energized lyrics on this track. He talks about how some people are ignoring the important issues at hand.

Broken Dreams, Inc. definitely sounds a bit different than the previous tracks so I'm glad they're moving away from their usual formula on this one. We have some dark running bass lines with some energizing guitars and solos to back it up. I also enjoy the backing vocals which they haven't incorporated that much on this album. This track seems to talk about some of the things and issues that have happened in the past year, especially with the protests and riots.

Forfeit slows down the album and is one of the acoustic-like tracks that are presented on this album. We also have some more orchestral strings on here so I'm a bit surprised to see that than the usual instrumentation they usually present. Not really my taste, especially from a group like Rise Against, but it has potential since it's polished. While the track is titled Forfeit, he just talks about not giving up on this person, even when people turn on them.

We get a complete 180 in direction after Forfeit with the track, Monarch. While I thought the guitar work on some previous tracks were amazing, I was mistaken since they are even better on this track and they definitely make it known with their quick strumming. There's also just so much raw emotion put into the vocals and solo sections. Judging by the chorus, he talks about not being the same person that he was younger and how he's stronger now.

Sounds Like brings us back to the usual Rise Against sound we are going to get on this album, or that's what I thought at first. The first somewhat different thing that I enjoy from this one is the quick bursts of sound and strumming during the pre-chorus since it's a perfect build up to the chorus. The next thing that really struck me was the instrumental break towards the end of the track to give it that extra edge and energy.

Sooner Or Later opens up with a quiet synth part. After a few seconds, we eventually get a drumbeat and some guitars. It just seems like they're adding layers every few seconds until they get to the chorus section. After the chorus, it cuts down on the instrumentation and the building up starts all over again. Just looking at the lyrics of this track, it seems to talk about the afterlife and that everything must eventually come to an end, especially life.

Middle Of A Dream opens up with a distorted guitar part, as well as some heavy riffing sections. Unfortunately the interesting guitar parts cut out quickly once the verses and chorus come in. However, they do utilize some backing vocals on this track which is a great addition. With the lyrics of this track, it could have easily been used for the Inception film since they're talking about being caught between two worlds and which one is actually real.

The final track on the album is Rules Of Play. Again, it opens up with a loud wall of guitars, and then we get our usual riffing that has been present on this album. I can tell that this is one of the faster tracks on the album since it seems like they're rushing through the lyrics, especially during the chorus. Other than that, the track talks about not knowing how to 'play the game of life' since there are a lot of people lying and truths hidden in disguises.

This definitely isn't one of my favorite Rise Against albums, but it is fresh to hear their sound again after not listening to their last two albums. The only thing I wish they would have done differently is to get out of their 'formula', especially since most of the tracks landed in the three-minute range.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Nowhere Generation, Broken Dreams, Inc., Monarch

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