There comes a point where. amongst the giant lake of cynicism that is the twenties, you begin to see anger as a commodity in of itself, something to be bought and sold, used up and worn out before being replenished again. Hardcore punk’s nineties heyday in the wake of grunge – Bad Religion, Pennywise, NOFX etc. – was in hindsight the movement’s commercial flourish before it returned to the underground and made itself well again. There’s an argument that, faced with an onslaught for commoditised outrage by rap, it had little choice.
Rise Against formed in Chicago at the turn of the century, a city with a renowned history of the form, but by 2003’s Siren Song Of The Counter-Culture the quartet were embracing melody over rawness and although accusations of selling out fall like rain amongst the movement’s cognoscenti, at half a million copies sold vindication followed.
Nowhere Generation arrives with a world in turmoil, both domestically and abroad, a rich vein of subject matter at which launch metaphorical bombs towards. And yet, whilst singer Tim McIlrtath’s rabble rousing voice is built for the job, musically the journey is a highly familiar one, opener The Numbers chugging away at a festival-friendly tempo which from then on only changes for the ballad-ish Forfeit. Nowhere Generation’s heart and politics might be in the right place, but it’s comfortable rebellion is unlikely to make any would-be dictators think twice.
You can read the full review here.