I am more than happy to give up a bit of my indie cred through saying I enjoy Rise Against. They were my gateway band into hardcore punk in high school, which catalyzed my interest in alternative and independent music that’s obviously persisted to this day. Right after I turned 17, I went on an eBay spree where I bought way too many of their vinyls; I have this one on the original black pressing and limited-run red pressing. There will always be a little place in my heart for this group.1
However, my inner high school anarchist is disappointed in the past seven years of Rise Against’s career. Starting with Appeal to Reason, the band steadily suffocated their fierce anti-establishment stance in a series of corporate alternative albums not out of place on your mainstream “alt-rock” radio station also plays Nickelback and can’t stop riding Bush’s dick for recording “Glycerine” two decades ago.2
The Rise Against 7″ represents could have been. The two songs are outtakes from the Appeal to Reason album released in 2008, released on their old label Fat Wreck Chords as a result of a lost bet.3 Just two tracks in four minutes, but all blistering hardcore punk. There’s even a solo on “Grammatizator” that isn’t Zach Blair’s characteristically shitty three-chord attack.4 For old fans who still have their black masks and gasoline; for punk rockers who wrote the band off upon “Savior”‘s addition to alt-rock radio playlists.
1. Grammatizator – (2:08) – ★★★★★
2. Voice of Dissent – (1:55) – ★★★☆☆
1I have three copies of this one.
2No, I’m not bitter. “Glycerine” is a damn good song.
3The details of which have never been released.
4Again, not bitter.