Never ones to phone it in, Rise Against have returned on biting form with their ninth album, ‘Nowhere Generation’. Whilst they refined their songwriting and honed in on their penchant for big, soaring choruses on ‘Appeal To Reason’, ‘Nowhere Generation’ sees the quartet not only still passionate and socially conscious, but with a few sonic twists and turns thrown in for good measure.
Kicking things off with the snarling yet sweeping ‘The Numbers’, frontman Tim Mcllrath delivers a rallying cry alongside driving guitars, wide choruses, and pounding drums. Sounding just as fresh as they did twenty years ago, Rise Against continue to ensure that the lyrical narrative is not the only point of focus. The same can be said for Sudden Urge, as guitarist Zach Blair delivers hook driven riffs whilst drummer Brandon Barnes drives the track towards its explosive conclusion.
Not content to stick to driving punk rock, the title-track sits comfortably with distorted folk rock and gang vocals, as ‘Nowhere Generation’ continues to see Rise Against tune into the current sociopolitical climate. With a blistering first half, ‘Nowhere Generation’ delivers an abundance of hooks, riffs, and lyrical density to unpack upon first listen.
Taking a breather from the melodic hardcore of the record, ‘Forfeit’ focuses on acoustic finger-picking and Mcllrath‘s gritty vocals. Complete with gliding strings and a passionate vocal delivery, it continues to expand on the group’s established sound alongside as giving space between the driving ‘Broken Dreams Inc.’ and ‘Monach’.
Whilst Rise Against don’t stray too far from their core sound, they make sure that near enough each track could’ve been selected as a single. From the chunky guitars of ‘Sounds Like’ to the hook driven and bass heavy ‘Middle Of A Dream’, ‘Nowhere Generation’ knows its sonic identity and doesn’t lose its momentum.
Closing with ‘Rules Of Play’, spiky guitars crash with pounding drums, as Mcllrath delivers one final impassioned performance. Highlighting that they don’t hold any answers but are more observers, the refrain of “This life is a game that I don’t know how to play” perfectly sums up the overarching message of ‘Nowhere Generation’.
Delivering another consistently strong release, Rise Against show no signs of slowing down or stagnating any time soon.