Liquidating “The Black Market”

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First Posted: 8/4/2014

Rise Against has been churning out punk rock staples for more than a decade, and with their seventh studio album, “The Black Market,” they are ready to assault the music world once again. The one question that hangs in the air is are they going to tiptoe the line between punk and mainstream rock, like they have on their last two outings, or go all-in, one way or another.

If there is one truth in this world it is that, when you play a Rise Against album, it’s going to start with a great opening track. That is no different here. “The Great Die-Off” will have you bopping in your seat and your adrenaline pumping. That attitude carries over to the next track, and first single, “I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore.” The track may switch between tempos slightly with the verse and chorus, but it works really well. Unfortunately, things get complicated from there.

The entirety of “The Black Market” kind of feels lacking somehow. There are some good tracks on here, but it doesn’t feel like there is any substance for the majority. The album appears as if the band is trying to get back to their original tone. There are hints of sounds, writing and lyrical styles found on their earlier works (“RPM,” “Siren Songs,” etc.), but there is an absence of ferocity and angst that Rise Against has always been known for.

“The Black Market” is a decent album, but it seems like Rise Against is chasing an elusive white whale in terms of style. From their underground to mainstream success, it’s undeniable that they have a strong following. However, it feels like they are trying to appease both fan bases at once. In doing so, it is compromising their sound.

Rise Against “The Black Market”

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