Rise Against’s Long Forgotten Songs

Rise Against's Long Forgotten Songs

By Danny Thompson

Following 2010’s “Endgame”, no new material had been released by the band until now. “Long Forgotten Songs”, while not exactly new songs, is an album that every major Rise Against fan should have. It is, as the full title states, a collection of b-side tracks and cover songs from the Chicago based punk band’s 13 year run. The covered portion of the album includes everything from hardcore classics (“Nervous Breakdown,” “Minor Threat”) to punk rock versions of folk songs (“Ballad of Hollis Brown”) and even a Danny Elfman written track for his film “Nightmare Before Christmas.” Guest musicians Tom Morello (of Rage Against The Machine, The Nightwatchman), Wayne Kramer (MC5, Mudhoney), and Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem) team up with the band for a spectacular cover of Bruce Sprighsteen’s “Ghost of Tom Joad.”

As far as music written by Rise Against themselves goes, b-sides from their studio albums appear along with different mixes of a couple of their more well known songs.

For me, a longtime fan of the band, this album will fit nicely on my CD rack beside my other Rise Against albums. For many more casual fans of the band however, it could be skipped. One really has to dig RA or be into punk rock in general to get everything out of this album. It doesn’t contain any radio friendly tracks so to speak, and none of the songs are truly new releases. The original songs it does have show for the most part the more hardcore influenced side of the band. Some (like myself) may enjoy this, but others may be put off by the less cleanly produced sound that fans have become accustomed to. Of course that doesn’t mean that there’s not something on this album for everyone; there definitely is. Sounds range from acoustic to alternative punk to straight up punk rock, and that is what makes this a strong release and must have for any long time fan of the band, while still a valuable pick up for the casual listener.

If you only listen to a few songs from the album, be sure to check out “Everchanging (acoustic)” and “The Ballad of Hollis Brown.” Both of those tracks give me goosebumps when I listen to them and can well up the emotions of any listener.

3.5/5 Stars