Rise Against – Appeal To Reason

I know I already posted this… but Blogger took it down because they got a DMCA take down notice… which makes no fucking sense since I did not post any songs off the album (I had a song off of an old Rise Against album on Fat Wreck)… which leads me to believe that it was taken down because it’s a less than favorable review. So Interscope Records: Fuck off, you have no jurisdiction.

Rise Against used to be one of the most prominent, promising melodic hardcore bands and one of my personal favorites… These days, Rise Against are one of the most prominent Nickleback / Thrice cover band around.

It’s a shame too, because I had such high hopes for “Appeal To Reason“. Sure, “Siren Songs of the Counter Culture” sucked, but the following “The Sufferer and the Witness” was a step in the right direction. Now with “Appeal to Reason“, the band ran straight to the jail of the mediocre without passing ‘Go’ or collecting $200 dollars.

Rise Against used their try and true tactic of opening the album with a strong track (rather similar to some slower “Revolutions Per Minute”, and then launches into 44 minutes of watered down, over produced, washed up music I’ve ever heard.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few songs on here that aren’t half bad (like “The Dirt Whispered”, it’s a very good Blink 182 song), but 90% of the album is boring, run of the mill filler. Even the songs that resemble older material seem to just lack the balls-off-the-wall bite that Rise Against used to have.

The biggest problem is that Rise Against just tries to be hard to be radio-friendly… and succeeds. Take “Kotov Syndrome” for example: a pretty solid Rise Against song that is instantly ruined by a teeny-bopper breakdown that will have every Hot Topic kid pogo-ing along to.

Mediocre, boring, and stripped of all energy, Appeal to Reason pretty much sums up the MTV friendly path that the band has taken*. And to the line take from the song “From Heads Unworthy” (“I’m not after fame and fortune/I’m after you”), I’m going to have to call bullshit.

Disclaimer: Since I’m sure I’ll otherwise get a bunch of comments telling me to stop caring about how big a band gets, let me just say: I don’t. It’s one thing to get big by making solid music (see: Protest the Hero, Bouncing Souls), and it’s completely another to just water yourself down to get on the #3 spot of the Billboards Top 200 albums.

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