Rise Against - RPM10 (Cover Artwork)

Rise Against

Rise Against: RPM10RPM10 (2013)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In order to appreciate the 10th anniversary reissue of Rise Against's Revolutions Per Minute, it's important to regain context about the era from which it came–and the new era in which it ushered. Melodic hardcore as we've come to know it didn't exist back then, save a few outliers who'd gain .
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In order to appreciate the 10th anniversary reissue of Rise Against's Revolutions Per Minute, it's important to regain context about the era from which it came–and the new era in which it ushered. Melodic hardcore as we've come to know it didn't exist back then, save a few outliers who'd gain ground after Rise Against popularized the genre. The closest a band had come prior was Strike Anywhere, whose 2001 LP Change is a Sound didn't necessarily break them out despite its fan-favorite status; that would happen fully with their follow-up Exit English, released in Sept. 2003–five months after RPM hit the shelves.

In the ensuing decade, literally thousands of bands residing somewhere within the melodic hardcore spectrum came along, and, like us, were undoubtedly heavily influenced by RPM. Even if most fans would agree that Rise Against have somewhat lost their way as they've become more and more popular, the impact of this record is still being felt a decade later.

Not only did Revolutions Per Minute influence thousands of bands musically, it did so lyrically and socially as well. In 2003, the United States was in the initial throes of the "War on Terror," a conflict in which the Bush/Cheney administration sought to protect America's interests at home and abroad through questionable–and in the minds of many, outright illegal–means and tactics. The war in Iraq, which began that same year, became a lightning rod for debate in America and across the world, especially as the death tolls and money spent mounted. Consequently, it gave punks a cause and authority figures against which to rebel, proving once again that tragedy, suffering and injustices–as awful as they can be–have always tended to yield the best, most arresting art. It's interesting to think about how our scene might be different today had none of these things happened; the beat would certainly go on, but would there have been as much aggression or as much urgency?

RPM holds up surprisingly well. Maybe it's the enduring quality of the songs; maybe it's pure nostalgia for a less jaded time. It could be a combination of both. What's readily apparent as the initial notes of "Black Masks & Gasoline" rip through the speakers, though, is that there hasn't been punk rock this melodic, this aggressive and this catchy since; this was as high as the melodic hardcore genre ever got or will get. The catharsis of "Heaven Knows," "Halfway There" and "Blood Red, White & Blue" is just as palpable and ear-splitting as it was ten years ago. The fiery hardcore of "Dead Ringer" and "To The Core" remains as vital-sounding as it did in 2003–and these two songs were throwbacks then. Tracks like "Voices Off Camera" and "Broken English," we now know, hinted as what was to come in terms of Rise Against's ear for catchiness and lean for accessibility through the noise. The remaster for RPM10 doesn't change too much, but it does give the record a fuller, thicker sound, making it punch just a little harder than it did before.

The demos packaged with this reissue are a neat, if non-essential addition. They do sound awfully clean for rough takes, but save a few lyrical differences are largely unchanged from what would become the final album. For megafans of Rise Against and the genre as a whole, it's still a treat to hear these massively important songs in their earliest forms. Curiously absent from the collection of demos are "Dead Ringer" and "To The Core," the two hardcore-tinged anthems mentioned above; it's possible that they were written in-studio or that that those recordings are lost forever.

RPM remains one of the most important records in recent punk history, and RPM10 is a fitting tribute to Rise Against's massive influence, underrated innovation and talent. It's a snapshot of a band coming into their own as songwriters and musicians that will live on forever in the hearts and minds of those who were there when it happened. It's a stone cold classic.


People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - HandwrittenThe Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesAlkaline Trio - My Shame Is TrueThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastA Wilhelm Scream - PartycrasherRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteNOFX - Self EntitledBad Religion - True North

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Nomorekidsagain (July 26, 2013)

If you do not manage to get bored by a single track in that many years, it must be a special piece of record eh?!? What a classic ... and, having become a bigger critic of the guys in recent years, explains why some of us are so upset with the newer material. Just when you were deeply in love, you can start hating.
Anyhow, one, maybe THE best hardcore/melodic hardcore record EVER

anytime (June 21, 2013)

Today's my 10th birthday!!!

indi (June 19, 2013)

I don‚??t know why I do this to myself and read the stupid-ass opinions of closed-minded people. Just because a band slips into the mainstream, being that we live in a generation where good music is so much more accessible to ANYONE, does not mean that they lost their way. Unfortunately, we can‚??t keep bands from becoming bigger, just to call them our own and feel special because ‚??no one has ever heard of this music I am listening to‚?Ě, you fucking hipsters. Rise Against is one of the most influential bands ever and always stayed close to their roots. And I am 30 and watched it all happen. If you go out in the real world, outside of your room in your parent‚??s house, you might realize that most people have never even heard of Rise Against.

bad360punk (June 9, 2013)

RPM was my favorite album for a long time. So obviously I give this a five. Though I do wish it had the Journey cover, I'm glad I can now listen to the last song without having all the blank space after it. Great album. The demos were all really good, some with different lyrics and stuff. Hoping their next album will be as good as this was. I doubt they'll go back to this sound, but man I wish they would.

rafiislost (June 5, 2013)

I'm also hoping their next album will be as passionate as RPM. Their past two albums have been pretty bad.

rafiislost (June 5, 2013)

This IS their best album and my favorite album by any band of all time. Really sucks how they don't play these songs (or The Unraveling) anymore due to their radio Savior mainstream "fans" in bro-tanks who only know Savior and criticize them when they blend punk and politics.

superanncoulterfanclub (June 4, 2013)

I got the CD re-issue, where the Journey cover is suspiciously missing. It'd be (not much of) a surprise to me if it's exclusive just to the vinyl RPM10.

Still, I don't care either way, because I only bought the thing just for the demos...and Fat Mike needs his Gulfstream IV jet.

- Superanncoulterfanclub

flowerfeeder (June 2, 2013)

The Journey cover IS on this reissue. Not sure what the guy below is talking about. Listening to it now.

seth_uber_alles (June 2, 2013)

Got this when it came out. I was 14 or so. I liked it for a short while at the time, but how this band got huge is beyond me. I guess it's because they were willing to sound like bland radio rock at times. Also funny how their breakout hit was co-written by a guy from a band with two great songwriters, neither of which is him. Even Anti-Flag at the time was leagues better than this.

ryang (June 2, 2013)

"Good Riddance (merely a decent band on its best day) eats Rise Against for brunch."

I thought they were vegans and a vegetarian?

NatashaSTP (June 1, 2013)

Love this album, the demos are great!

sleepwalker (June 1, 2013)

I'm guessing there must be an age thing going on here. A few people mentioned being young(13 or 14) when this came out. I was 23, and while I did pick it up, my mind was definitely not blown. CVA came out that year though...

moop (May 31, 2013)

this album was great for me.. saw these guys four times touring on this record.. haven't seen em since.. good times..

conblake (May 31, 2013)

The Bush Administration's actions were blatantly illegal-this is a really minor quibble, but you don't need to be objective about that at all.

crackpotdemagogue (May 31, 2013)

"Melodic hardcore as we've come to know it didn't exist back then..."

LOL, what?

superanncoulterfanclub (May 30, 2013)

It's not a 'pure re-issue". Their Journey cover of "Anyway You Want It" is NOT on it. It's surprisingly better than the original.

How come the Lagwagon re-issues kept all the goofy cover tracks ("Back One Out", "Inspector Gadget"), but not this one? Shenanigans!

- Superanncoulterfanclub

cheesecakemafia (May 30, 2013)

Score is for EchosMyron's stupid, silly ass.

EchosMyron (May 30, 2013)

"Like the Angel" is such a fucking piece of shit. One of the most pointless songs ever written.

EchosMyron (May 30, 2013)

Also, the reviewer is clearly a moron. Rise Against did not revolutionize anything, especially not in 2003. Melodic hardcore did not truly exist before RPM? Are you 16 years old or something? Melodic hardcore was already a tired fad by the time this album came out. And as the user below pointed out, Good Riddance (merely a decent band on its best day) eats Rise Against for brunch.

EchosMyron (May 30, 2013)

This album has exactly one great track: "Voices Off Camera." A few other tracks (mainly the shorter ones) are okay, but the mid-tempo power pop material is uninspired and weak. This hardly deserves to be regarded as a classic album.

MN_DrNick (May 29, 2013)

God.... you guys are still arguing in here? Go home. You're all drunk.... or something.

longshot (May 29, 2013)

I really liked Rise Against's first record when it came out, despite the obvious similarities to 88FL, both in production and style. When their RPM was released, I thought it was like a more-slick Good Riddance. An awesome time, but nothing to write home about. I guess it just kinda blows my mind that this was the record got people into punk/hardcore. And it seems odd that the author would still publish the certain statement in question without doing any apparent research into the history of the very label from which this record was released. It's laughable to many for numerous good reasons. The contradicting comments on this thread, and I include myself in this, are products of being dumbfound at such a seemingly obvious falsehood.

Okay? Okay.

davebrave4 (May 29, 2013)

Haha flowerfeeder's got the right idea. Rabbit, too. I don't think it's a terrible review overall and I'm glad the record turned so many people into punkers; there were just a few parts that I thought could have been phrased a little better or were hyperbolic to the point where I thought I should speak up.

Tudor (May 29, 2013)

This album actually got people into hardcore? My god I'm old.

rabbit (May 29, 2013)

while i do find myself agreeing with a lot of what davebrave has been saying, mrpistachio kinda nailed it for me. i can't stand the band but it's nice to see someone just being a proud fan. i think the vast majority of the arguing here is all over a (very) poorly thought out sentence or two. all in the name of a good rabble i guess.

flowerfeeder (May 29, 2013)

I thought the review was pretty solid. Good job.

Most of the comments below could have been avoided, however, if the line "Melodic hardcore as we've come to know it didn't exist back then, save a few outliers who'd gain ground after Rise Against popularized the genre" was worded differently. Should have said "The commercial viability of melodic hardcore..."

kursk64 (May 29, 2013)

Even if it didn't reinvent the melodic hardcore wheel, it sure as shit popularised it - also its just a fucking good album. Its the album that got me into all of this.... Don't really give it much play time these days, but still love it as much as ever....

telegraphrocks (May 28, 2013)

Such a shitty, shitty review for an awesome album.

evildeadalive (May 28, 2013)

Kid Dynamite tho

1776 (May 28, 2013)

Wow -- "Melodic hardcore as we've come to know it didn't exist back then[.]"

Is there a special name for your learning disability?

allbutone (May 28, 2013)

I absolutely get what you are saying about the influence of this album. This is the album that opened the door for me to get into bands like Good Riddance, Strike Anywhere, Lifetime etc. I was mostly into straight up punk and pop punk, and this album blew me away and opened my eyes to a whole bunch of awesome bands.

cheesetits (May 28, 2013)

No care for demos, but this remains one of my favorite albums ever.

ColinAlexander (May 28, 2013)

This record was definitely one of the most influential records on my taste in music. It's a perfect record worthy of a re-release.

Amateurchemist (May 28, 2013)

How can anybody in this thread deny that Rise Against was the band that popularized melodic hardcore? I know so many kids that started listening to punk rock purely because of Rise Against. That being said, I still give RPM a spin every now and again and I still think that it is a solid album, even if it does depreciate a little as the nostalgia wears thin.

Thrusters (May 28, 2013)

I (probably) would never have gotten into punk if not for Rise Against. While Siren Song and Sufferer were probably more important early on, this album's been my favorite of theirs ever since I stopped being fourteen and it's just as good to this day. Shame everything since Sufferer's been so mediocre.

longshot (May 28, 2013)

"Melodic hardcore as we've come to know it didn't exist back then, save a few outliers who'd gain ground after Rise Against popularized the genre."

This guy. This guy's got jokes.

In other news, Streetlight Manifesto invented ska-core. You all knew that, right?

mrpistachio (May 28, 2013)

I have never liked Rise Against. It's all too sanitary and lacking in character.

What I will say though, is that it's great to see an unashamed and extroverted declaration of love for melodic hardcore. This genre gets an unfair bashing lot of the time on .org and I'm very happy that you are giving it 5 stars and also defending it in the comments section.


thenewpope (May 28, 2013)

what you don't seem to understand is that Rise Against ARE the "crappy knock-off band"!!! There are literally hundreds of bands that have been playing melodic hardcore for decades. The first Dag Nasty record came out in '86 for christ's sake. All Rise Against did was water it down, crack the MTV barrier, and preach the popular "punk" ethics of the time to a generation to young and stupid to make up their own minds. Sure, they wrote some catchy tunes, but let's not call this the holy grail of hardcore here.

bryne (May 28, 2013)

Eh. Influential bands always bring out crappy knockoffs with a limited number of influences and small worldviews. You can't blame the band or discount their legacy for that.

This album changed my life. It obviously didn't change yours. That's totally fine!

thenewpope (May 28, 2013)

"reflect on what the genre was like back then and how it changed in droves after RPM changed most everyone's lives."

and we're the ones grasping?

davebrave4 (May 28, 2013)

Good point, Bryne. Because if there's one sure we can be sure of in regards to punk music, it's that it hits its stride AFTER becoming popular. Screw the Ramones; pop punk didn't start getting good until Green Day and the Offspring dumbed it down for everybody. Dashboard Confessional was the epitome of emo, and ska just wasn't ska until No Doubt had their way with it. Hell, take Rise Against--they just get better and better as they get more and more popular. Hell, I know I didn't believe that they were a good band until I heard parts of Siren Songsof the Counter Culture on Guitar Hero.

Seriously, I love melodic hardcore, and there are some bands out there doing some great things with it, but over the last ten years it's been getting increasingly predominantly oversaturated and generic, and you're telling me I have this album to thank.

bryne (May 28, 2013)

Even so, those bands didn't break the genre wide open in a way that Rise Against did. Hell, Lifetime became more popular and influential after they broke up. They also sound nothing like Rise Against. I hear ya re: Good Riddance but I'd argue their influence wasn't as wide to the newer generation of bands in the genre.

MN_DrNick (May 28, 2013)

Anyways, this album is great and was one of the big albums that year on shaping my word view on punk and yadda yadda yadda nostalgia. Album still holds up.

MN_DrNick (May 28, 2013)

Dave the Brave and everybody else have failed because they did not mention Good Riddance and Lifetime to support their argument. They went the easy way and picked the band that Rise Against used to be in.

bryne (May 28, 2013)

Everyone in this thread seems to have forgotten how ubiquitous this record was when it came out, and the impact it's had since.

Never did I suggest that RA invented modern melodic hardcore ‚?? yes, I'm a 88 Fingers Louie fan ‚?? but you're high if you don't think this album popularized the genre and made far, far more people aware of it and fans of it. That was the point of the initial sentences, to reflect on what the genre was like back then and how it changed in droves after RPM changed most everyone's lives.

Y'all are grasping, as usual. Keep it up.

mikexdude (May 28, 2013)


ashtraymonument (May 28, 2013)

I loved this album, and listened to it to death when it first came out. I still think its great, but I find it hard to listen to because how the band sounds now, and the unnecessary spectacle of them live. Also their awful awful fan base. Still, some of the best punk songs on this.

nofx0516 (May 28, 2013)

Bought it to have the vinyl. Totally worth the money; I'm loving the demos.

conebone69 (May 28, 2013)

Nothing but a cash grab. Which I don't fault Rise Against or Fat Wreck as people are stupid.

But these demos are absolutely pointless.

Score is for the original record.

thenewpope (May 28, 2013)

agreed davebrave4. Whatever cred the reviewer had was flushed down the crapped after that willfully ignorant first paragraph.
If you thought melodic hardcore was invented by these guys in 2003, then you need a serious fucking history lesson.
Hell, their old bands played melodic hardcore, and did a better job at it!

outpatient (May 28, 2013)

the use of labels in this review is pretty unnecessary, seeing as this album isn't really much more hardcore than some of strung out or 88 fingers' albums on fat, nor was it revolutionary. this is a great punk rock album but stupid genre names like melodic hardcore do nothing but corner music off from a certain fanbase that won't listen to something labeled hardcore. also, I think you're overstating this band's influence a little bit, unless you're talking about on kids inspired to pick up a guitar by the band's latter nickleback-esque material. fat wreck d-ride/10.

BarleyPat (May 28, 2013)

Hell, you don't even have to go any further than 88 Fingers to find an earlier example of melodic hardcore.........but still...I do get what you are saying about the impact of this album. Haters are going to hate, but this album had a huge impact, was an instant classic and as much as I hate w/ they have become, I will always love this one (and The Unraveling).

davebrave4 (May 28, 2013)

"there hasn't been punk rock this melodic, this aggressive and this catchy since; this was as high as the melodic hardcore genre ever got or will get."

Pffft yeah okay buddy. Even if there weren't already dozens of albums better than this one, the genre is far from dead; and even if it were, that doesn't preclude a band from making a kickass album that reinvigorates the genre. I can't tell if you're just trying to stir up conversation or if you actually believe that you've heard every melodic harcore album that has ever or will ever existed, have compared all of them to this one, have determined that they're all somehow inherently better than this one, and have determined that since you like this album the best, it is in fact the best.

d_bag (May 28, 2013)

I'd say the demo versions are pretty cool here. Compare the rough versions to the final versions of songs like "voices off camera," "black masks," and "like the angel" and you can tell on the demos that they weren't quite tight enough for the album and didn't yet have all the vocal melodies figured out. It's neat to hear them in such rough shape.

thenewpope (May 28, 2013)

"Melodic hardcore as we've come to know it didn't exist back then, save a few outliers who'd gain ground after Rise Against popularized the genre."

Please, for the love of God, tell me you're joking.....

DrEmperor (May 28, 2013)

Holy shit, this makes me feel old.

bryne (May 28, 2013)

@bootsmcgee ‚?? I love the Bronx, but their Rise Against's impact/influence dwarfs theirs. It ain't even close.

bootsmcgee (May 28, 2013)

Don't think it's fair or accurate to say this band ushered in "melodic hardcore." The Bronx, for example, released their first album in 2003.

ak3punk (May 28, 2013)

It's hard to justify a re-purchase for those who bought it ten years ago. Demos are fine, but real bonus tracks would have been a better addition. To be honest I'll probably give my money to Fat for a NEW release, for someone like myself who only buys digital music now, this seems like a waste.

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