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RISE AGAINST Nowhere Generation

By Nathan Dufour, Great White North
Friday, July 30, 2021 @ 9:57 AM


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RISE AGAINST
Nowhere Generation

2021, Loma Vista Recordings




RISE AGAINST has been screaming at you for over 20 years and so if you are not at least casually aware of them, you just haven’t been paying attention. I mean, they have radio hits and recently received a gosh darned day for themselves in Chicago. In no small feat, they have also remained one of the greatest and most consistent voices for positive change, equality, and do-goodery in modern music, making protest songs that the everyman is able to identify with regardless of whatever extraneous bullshit might be trying to wrap itself around. Now, as we march forward with time alongside ourselves, re-evaluating our priorities and where our hearts lie to beat damn near out of our chests, truly the embodiment of the Nowhere Generation, RISE AGAINST have returned to give us a melody to sing along to as we find ourselves again.

Peaks and valleys are inevitable in the trajectory of any artists worth their salt, with efforts finding favour or lack thereof with fans, each offering truly at the mercy of the listener’s taste that day. Although they have never released a bad album, there are RISE AGAINST albums that just don’t get much play around these parts. Nowhere Generation, though, does not fall into that pit. Indeed, it may well be the band’s finest hour and defining moment.

All the hallmarks are present: soaring vocals, pop friendly sensibilities, bank vault tight rhythm section, and lyrical content that speaks to the everyman instead of a niche group. Most prominently featured, in my estimation, is a renewed sense of hunger and immediacy. Starting off like, well, stampeding horses, “The Numbers” sets the tone immediately, harkening back to the early days of the band while gazing forward. The song is huge, sweeping, grandiose.

Following in kind, the album bashes along, taking down anything in its path, with lead single and title track destined to be a live staple approximately forever, whenever live becomes a reliable thing again. The hooks and brambles all over the first half of Nowhere Generation will stick in your head, I guarantee it. The experience is certainly fun, but there is a hint of quiet desperation behind the arranging and the delivery of lyrics. RISE AGAINST have found their voice again.

Special mention should be made for the midpoint ballad, “Forfeit”. The song is an absolute monster under the bed, creeping up on you with every feeling you’ve ever pushed down. I know I have spoken in the past about the power of a great love song and that may be the mellowing that comes with age, but holy Jesus, this is next level.

Much more than the sum of its parts, Nowhere Generation represents the very best that RISE AGAINST can be. It is not only a valuable addition to an already impressive and burgeoning back catalog, Nowhere Generation shows in no uncertain terms exactly where you belong. A cause to be alarmed, indeed. Get angry, change the world. Or at least, maybe change your world and leave things better than you found them.

4.75 Out Of 5.0


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