Rise Against then switched labels to Dreamworks / Universal Music Group / Geffen Records to release Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004). This new album delivered a far less hardcore sound, but was undeniably intense and far more accessible to the mainstream public. SSotCC was criticized by many saying that Rise Against had "Lost their punk rock roots..." etc etc. And while they had indeed drifted, though not entirely, from their original "slam it and scream 'em" roots, Rise Against had shown in SSotCC with songs like Tip the Scales and Dancing for Rain --and would show in their upcoming album, The Sufferer and the Witness-- that they were still very much in the punk rock scene, even if they had taken a different style. This style is what many have come to call melodycore.
After the large and mainstream success of SSotCC from such songs as Life Less Frightening, Give It All, and Swing Life Away, Rise Against released a re-edited version of The Unraveling via Fat Wreck Cords in 2005. They then began working on their new, deeper, and darker album, The Sufferer and The Witness (2006). TSatW had success with such songs as Ready To Fall and Prayer of the Refugee, ranking high on the US modern rock boards. This new album from rise against had still the political unrest of previous records, but it also had a deeper focus on personal and emotional upheaval. With TSatW Rise Against screamed of how humanity was killing ourselves, and simply knowing the problem wasn't enough in songs like Ready To Fall. They sang of heartbreak and disillusionment in songs such as Approaching Curve or Roadside. And true to their nature, they scream their political discord in songs like Bricks or Built to Last (a bonus track).
Rise Against is known for their delivery of hardcore rock and punk influences to the mainstream audience with melody (hence the term melodycore). Though critics may blindly sling empty insults about their sound and themes, their success, music, and musical content is the only counter-point needed to disregaurd such accusations. In conclusion, Rise Against is, in reality, a true punk rock/melodycore band that has only begun to withstand the trial of time. But with their high success, captivating sound, clever and true lyrics, and adherance to their original morals and themes, they show much promise of not only passing the trial of time, but excelling.
Built To Last (The Sufferer and the Witness)
Will earn respect in your day
Let the glory sharpened knife
Carve the future of your life
Give It All (Siren Song of the Counter Culture)
For far too long these voices
Muffled by distances
It's time to come to our senses
Up from the dirt
We give it all
To the Core (Revolutions Per Minute)
So step away from the f***ing screen
And see a world outside your screen
Maybe then you will know
And realize the lack of threat you pose
Alive And Well (The Unraveling)
Now's the time
To rearrange your life
Live for something
Outside of your own mind
We all dream
The same dream everynight
To burn the world that you call civilized
lyrics are well-written, intelligent, and plain wonderful. Never mind the fact that Tim McIlrath can actually sing AND scream (and do both really well).
All the other definitions are just as accurate, but what many of them don't mention is that they actually give a damn about the world. All the band members are vegetarian. They worked with Vans to create vegan skate shoes. The video for Prayer of the Refugee ends with a plea for fair trade. Whether you agree with their views or not, you still have to respect them for doing what they do when it'd be so much easier to just write another song about heartbreak. Though they do that really well too.
These guys care about what happens in the world, and they still manage to rock. If you haven't already, go listen to one of the songs in the other definitions and be amazed.
Later, I was shocked again when I discovered that these were the same guys who sang Swing Life Away.
the good left undone
All because of you,
I haven’t slept in so long.
When I do I dream of drowning in the ocean,
Longing for the shore where I can let my head down,
Inside these arms of yours.
All because of you,
I believe in angels.
Not the kind with wings,
No, not the kind with halos,
The kind that bring you home,
When home becomes a strange place.
I’ll follow your voice,
All you have to do is shout it out.
on windy nights I can smell the lake as it drifts to me from the shore. The traffic lights silently change a thousand times a day, but I'm still waiting, yeah, and I'm still waiting.
And if my hand could block the sun,
would we ever wake up? And if I turned back all these clocks, would that be time enough?" - Rise Against