Sound — 10
Sorry if all I do is praise these guys but I don't know what to say first except that this band can do no wrong. They changed their sound a lot from "Revolutions Per Minute" (their previous album). They sound great together. The lyrics blend with song and you become consumed by the guitar and bass riffs. The overall sound is unbelievable. Props to guitarist, Chris Chasse and bassist, Joe Principe. The drummer, Brandon Barnes is unbelieveable. Listen to "Life Less Frightening" and "To Them these Streets Belong" to get a taste of how awesome he is. The vocalist (Tim McIlrath) is probably one of the best singers I have ever heard. He is just as good live and he is on the cd, and he has the best scream, that can't be compared to anyone that I have ever heard. Punk is the main music style of Rise Against and they redefine how punk should sound with album. Because the guitar is probably a little more complicated than most punk bands who just play 4 chord progressions for a verse. No, Rise Against's verses are constantly changing and have lots of fast picking and moving up and down the guitar.
Lyrics — 10
Rise Against's lyrics are probably the best that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I really did debate with myself about this, and the other bands that came to mind that I think have great lyrics are Alkaline Trio and Dashboard Confessional, so it was tough. I really tried not to be biased just because Rise Against is my favorite band of the three. But instead I looked up lyrics and seriously compared them. I like the lyrics on this album mostly because they have deep meaning and are almost all motivational and not dark or hateful. The song "Give It All" is probably the best example of this. The lyrics are original and very motivational. Also "Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," "Swing Life Away," and "Dancing For Rain" are other songs that come to mind when talking about lyrics in my humble opinion. The lyrics go with the music very well because they give exactly the kind of emotion that you hear in the guitar riffs, whether the guitar is emotional or rockin' hard. For example "Give It All" has very motivational guitar riffs and you get that same feeling from the lyrics. And also like in "Swing Life Away," the guitar starts off very emotional sounding and you hear that in the lyrics too all throughout the song. And like I said before Tim does a great job singing and really kills the mic everytime he steps up to one.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall this is my favorite CD that I own. I was completely engrossed in it from the first track to the last. You never lose interest in any part of the album because of the guitar and lyrics. "Give It All" is probably RA's most impressive work on this album. Second has to be "Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated," then "Tip The Scales," "Swing Life Away" and "To Them These Streets Belong." I would recommend that anyone who likes punk, screamo, and emo to go out and buy this album. Probably the best spent $12 you will spend in your life.