Review by Sheldon Hubbard
Swirling with noble-minded adamancy toward making a stand for who and what you love, Rise Against delivers a bright and explosive display with Nowhere Generation; their 8th studio album. They take a lot of the pandemonium from the last couple years and filter into a swarm of sound that is as breathlessly classic as it is righteously inspirational. When I say it’s classic, I mean in the way it feels. Rise Against really has a way of grabbing you with their sound. You think you are gonna hear them go one way, then they either swing in hard or scoop you up softly the other way.
“The Numbers” is a flurry of ferocity, and an immediate reminder of two things: Rise Against packs a punch whether it’s the early 2000s or not, and their call to nudging people toward understanding their own sense of individual sovereignty is still strong with this one. “Sudden Urge” swarms in with a bolstering proclamation to address the wreckage around you and do more than just stand up, take action and step forward, too.
Then you have the title track lifting you up further with Tim Mcllrath’s distinctive croon, “we are the nowhere generation, we are the kids that no one wants; we are the credible threat to the rules you set, a cause to be alarmed…” which transforms into a fully-charged chant for the ages by the end of the track. Following “Nowhere Generation,” the song, “Talking To Ourselves,” equalizes the energy of the preceding tunes to kick up further dust by vocalizing a frustration I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with.
“Broken Dreams, Inc.” is a flaring mix of straight up rock ‘n’ roll guitar and bass driven, amped up punk. Directly opposite in terms of sound compared to the following track, “Forfeit.” A dwelling acoustic interlude that pangs for comfort in the midst of chaos.
“Monarch,” a track about reclaiming one’s self confidence after having their character stepped on, hammers out of (almost) nowhere. But then there is “Sounds Like,” which is a punchy blazoning of how far furthering one’s voice can get you.
“Sooner or Later” comes in with a spirited beckoning for a homeland that doesn’t include such carnal violence all around and more peace (from within oneself and throughout the land). In contrast to that, “Middle of a Dream” is a perfect bounce of stirring recollection on missing the people you love the most. Once waking from that smoldering dream, “Rules of Play” hurls in with the conception that life doesn’t have many set rules, and we are all more alike than we think.
Not simply a call up or back to self-actualization and recognition of the world around you, Nowhere Generation is a resounding homage to the generation’s inheriting of a lot of (for lack of a better phrase) BS...left to face the ruins of a digital-aged nowhere that is a wasteland of societal fixation. There’s nothing political to it, and it all has to do with the concept of humanity.
Rise Against set out to be a powerful voice for the planet and living in cohesion with everything and everyone, and this album is just another exquisite example of just how revolutionary that voice has become.