Last week, the punk rock juggernaut known as Rise Against surprise released a new 5-song EP called ‘Nowhere Generation II’ to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the band’s ninth album. These songs were written and recorded alongside the tracks that made up ‘Nowhere Generation,’ but were held back because the band figured too much of a good thing is still too much. “We’d written 16 songs for the album and then we decided to break them apart,” explains vocalist Tim McIlrath. “Not only could the music get lost, but the message could get lost in asking people to listen to this all at once. I think this is, hopefully, a more effective way to give these issues the platform and the spotlight that they rightly deserve.”
It's important to point out that while may seem like a collection of B-sides that didn't make the album, the songs that make up 'Nowhere Generation II' are all top-notch Rise Against songs. The EP opens with ‘The Answer,’ which immediately finds the band firing on all cylinders. Pummeling drums, solid riffs, slick guitar leads and of course, McIlrath’s impassioned vocals. All neatly encapsulated in 4 minutes. Unfortunately, Rise Against don’t have the answer either to what plagues the world. Doesn’t mean it’s not a kick-ass song though and that alone already kinda helps.
The impulse to dig deeper stems from McIlrath meeting fans all across the globe and realizing each of them were struggling with the same anxieties and fears about the future. While it would be easy to go down that rabbithole and paint a bleak picture, Rise Against always make sure to offer a glimmer of hope. Like on furious closing track ‘Holding Patterns,’ a throwback to the band’s hardcore-tinged sonic past, where McIlrath sings ‘when we are barely holding on, we hold each other’.
That’s Rise Against for you… they bring the light in an otherwise ever darker world. Well, they bring that and excellent punk rong songs.
Nowhere Generation II track list:
- The Answer
- Last Man Standing
- This Time It's Personal
- Pain Mgmt
- Holding Patterns