Who’d have thought that a band I begrudgingly endured a couple of years ago at Leeds Festival would turn out to be so much fun? It turns out they’re ardent supporters of a range of leftfield and animal rights issues and you can hear the wholesome voice of their protest in all of their songs. It’s undoubtedly an accessible sound more akin to more upbeat Husker Du numbers than the likes of Green Day and as Evlkeith would have it; ‘like Blink 182 but better’. And protest they do with a gaggle of heartfelt, agit pop ditties that warm the cockles of any old cynic’s heart.
‘Endgame’ is somewhat tighter than my previous encounter with Rise Against in the form of ‘The Sufferer and the Witness,’ with a more disciplined sound formed into twelve three minute punk-pop songs. It’s lyrically rich with the usual mix of current issues and observations on the state of modern day America told with machine gun ferocity and passion. Maybe the odd song outstays it’s welcome a little, but in the main the standard of song writing is up well beyond that of contemporaries such as The Foo Fighters or Queens of the Stone Age.
It’s a tough job picking my favourites from this selection as all the tracks are strong, but ‘Architects’ is a stirring call to arms, ‘Disparity by Design’ is a hi-octane dash through the evils of capitalism, and ‘Broken Mirrors’ is a dark rebel song from yester-year. My flip flopping favourites are the adrenaline rush of storming barricades in ‘A Gentleman’s Coup’ and the rousing finale of ‘Endgame’ itself.
It’s another great album from a great band and let’s just hope it’s not their endgame in reality. Hopefully not, as there’s an album pending for this year and the world certainly needs some quality new music. Like Quorn scampi it’s a surprisingly meaty and enjoyable experience from a vegetarian source!