Top 15 Rise Against Songs: Part 1of 3

There is no way Tim McIlrath isn’t on the verge of bursting out sobbing in this photo.

On July 15, Chicago-based punk band Rise Against will be releasing their seventh full-length studio album, entitled The Black Market. The very act of a band that I follow actually releasing an album after a reasonable amount of years gets me excited in more ways than one, so I’m freaking out over here. It doesn’t help that I’m also going to see Rise Against (For the third time in three years) when they come to Edmonton for Sonic Boom at the end of August. So basically, I’m just going to be a big sloppy mess until September.

Although the quaaludes aren’t helping, to be honest.

Anyhow, in honour of this milestone, (Seven is a milestone, right?), I’m counting down the fifteen best Rise Against songs ever been released, with the only exceptions being songs that were released as B-sides (Because they didn’t make the list anyways), and live songs that haven’t been released as a single or on an album, although I must say that their acoustic cover of No Use For a Name’s “For Fiona” is the best thing that’s ever happened to anybody ever.

Well, almost.

Also, keep in mind, this is just my opinion. If you think that my list sucks because some of the songs are major label releases, or that Rise Against sucks because they’re vegan or something, that’s okay. You know what I always say about different people’s opinions: They always sound better when you’re wigged out on quaaludes. Oh, uh, I mean that they’re just that: opinions. Or something.


15.” I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore”  

Album: The Black Market (2014) (Single)

Genres: Punk rock, melodic hardcore

Written by: Tim McIlrath

The band’s latest single seems to indicate somewhat of a return to familiar territory for the band, as it’s been a while since one of their songs conveyed as much intensity, and even longer since they’ve displayed such an introspective song, in contrast to their normally heavily political lyrics. And hey, I’m not one to complain about them ditching the picket signs for the black eyeliner every now and then. This song is fucking intense!


14. “Architects”

Album: Endgame (2011)

Genre: Melodic hardcore

Written by: Tim McIlrath

I can tell you all from firsthand experience that this is a damn near perfect song to sing along to live, although I will admit that it’s kind of odd that the lyrics in the bridge are exactly identical to the chorus in Against Me’s “I Was a Teenage Anarchist.” It’s more or less impossible to care about potential plagiarism when thrashing about to this song, though.



13. “Paper Wings” 

Album: Siren Songs of the Counter Culture (2004) (Promotional Single)

Genres: Melodic hardcore

Written by: Tim McIlrath

One of the few songs on RA’s breakout record that isn’t spewing righteous left-wing vitriol, “Paper Wings” is a heartfelt song about a breakup. Not exactly the deepest subject, but Tim’s heartfelt, intelligent lyrics and the whole band’s tight, energetic instrumentation make it one of the better songs in one of their better albums.

12. “Everchanging”

 Album: The Unraveling (2001)

Genres: Pop-punk, melodic hardcore

Written by: Tim McIlrath

Let’s face it: As much as it’s deified by the anti-major label community, The Unraveling, Rise Against’s debut on Fat Wreck Chords, isn’t that great of an album. It’s not a bad album, by any means, but it pales in comparison to some of the later material put out by the band. That said, “Everchanging”, another apolitical song about a relationship in disarray, is another wonderful, well-written song, and is also one of the few songs I can play all the way through on my guitar.

And even then, I need a little outside help.


11.  “Blood-Red, White and Blue” 

Album: Revolutions per Minute (2003)

Genre: Hardcore punk

Writer: Tim McIlrath

Fuck that mopey emo bullshit, man! This song is straight up hardcore!!!

Rise Against hadn’t quite completed their evolution into a mostly political punk group, but Revolutions per Minute was definitely a leap towards that direction, and “BRWB” was the ultimate manifestation of a pissed off group of young men who were doing their best (And succeeding) to not only give their audience something to mosh to, but also to make them think when they were done moshing.

Or, y’know, keep up with the macho posturing. That shit works, I guess.

To be continued…

2 comments on “Top 15 Rise Against Songs: Part 1of 3

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