Album Review: Rise Against – ‘Endgame’


Rise Against – ‘Endgame’

Record Label: DGC, Interscope
Produced By: Bill Stevenson, Jason Livermore
Released On: March 15, 2011

Music Trajectory Rating: 4/5

Rise Against returns with another solid album, keeping them at the forefront of the rock/alternative music genre

Being a huge Rise Against fan, I was super excited about Endgame coming out. I didn’t follow much of the pre-release build up, only catching a couple of the Blasting Room Webisodes. I caught word that first single “Help Is On The Way” was up on their Myspace page and I anxiously sat down to listen to it. My first impression of the song was that it was overly commercial sounding and generic. But I found that it stayed in my head and I listened to it every now and then, including the second song “Architects” that they also added. After several listens of each, I started to get into both songs and eventually put in a pre-order on iTunes to buy the album.

A couple days before the album came out, I read some album reviews around the internet, including RollingStone.com and Spin.com. Both were rather poor reviews, not giving much credit to the album. I am usually not swayed by reviews but I had a feeling that maybe the album wasn’t going to be that good. I listened to the album a couple times when it came out on March 11th and my initial thoughts were that it was just OK and only the first half was worth listening to.

I decided to write this review because now that I have listened to the album probably about 8 or so times through, I think it is a really solid album. Rise Against albums always have to grow on me for some reason. I remember not liking Sufferer and the Witness at all at first and shelving it for a year before getting back into it in a big way. Now I consider it one of my all-time favs. So despite what the majority of reviews are saying out there, I think Endgame is another good Rise Against record. If you are a fan, I highly suggest you pick it up because you will not be disappointed. Just keep in mind that you might have to give it a few listens.

Endgame sounds like a natural progression from the their last album, Appeal To Reason; it sounds bigger because Rise Against IS bigger. Appeal To Reason spawned four singles people! How many times could you turn on your alternative rock radio station for an hour and not hear a song from Appeal To Reason? The band has expectations from their fans and their record label, let alone their own expectations. I am sure most bands want to continue to expand while not alienating their core fans. With Endgame, I think Rise Against will successfully expand and gain in popularity and take their loyal fans with them.

My personal favorites on the album include first single “Help Is On The Way” which is one of the most highly infectious Rise Against songs ever. I can’t wait to hear it live when I see them on April 8th here in San Diego. Hearing it now, I can’t believe I didn’t like it at first. Other favorites include “Architects”, “Satellite”, “Disparity By Design” (which I think has one of the best choruses of any Rise Against song ever), and album standout “Broken Mirrors”.

So what other songs are single worthy? I think it is hard to say. “Architects” is probably the next “catchiest” song besides “Help Is On The Way”, and is the only other song from Endgame currently on their Myspace page. But I think the 2nd single is going to be “Satellite”. The song is very radio-friendly and has a great slow build leading into a high energy, sing along chorus. The ending of the song follows the vintage Rise Against slow-down-bridge-then-explode-to-chorus song construction. Who does it better these days? I can definitely see “Wait For Me” being a later single, if the album continues to sell well. This song reminds me of the arena rock sound of “Audience Of One” from Appeal To Reason.

To conclude, I think Endgame is another solid release from Rise Against and will surely bring them closer to being considered one of the top rock bands in the country. Who dons that title now? Foo Fighters? Looks like their new album is going to be another great one. Every Foo Fighters song goes straight to number one on the rock charts. But I digress. If you are a Rise Against fan, definitely check out Endgame and go see them in concert because they are great live! This will be my third time seeing them live. Can’t wait!

Best 3 Songs on the Album:

“Help Is on the Way” (track 2)
“Satellite” (track 5)
“Make It Stop (September’s Children)” (track 3)

Other Standout Songs:

“Disparity By Design” (track 4)
“Midnight Hands” (track 6)
“Broken Mirrors” (track 8)

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