Rise Against

Rise Against is an American punk rock band. They're fucking awesome. The end.

Prepare to have your balls rocked off.

The Band

Rise Against formed in the late nineties (1999 for all of you historical types), but the only date that really matters to most is 2001, when they released their first album, The Unraveling. The record, unsurprisingly, rocked balls and in 2003 another, more balls-rockingly-awesome albulm called Revolutions Per Minute was unleashed upon the world. 2004 and 2006 saw the releases of Siren Song of The Counter Culture and The Sufferer & The Witness, respectively. After the release of The Sufferer & The Witness some questioned whether or not the band had lost its touch after releasing so many albulms, but then they listened to it and shut the fuck up (probably due to the fact that their balls were rocked off). 2008's Appeal to Reason was received with much fanfare, as those who were about to complain about the band "selling out" listened to "Whereabouts Uknown" and were busy chasing their balls down the street. Rise Against has just finished work on their next album Endgame, due for release March 15, 2011. We've used the down time to securely fasten our collective genitals, but who knows what kind of awesome will come out of this next record?

Rise Against, as we're sure you may have heard, are comitted animal rights activists and vegetarians. While this may seem a deviation from their usual hobbies of kicking ass and taking names, before you write the band off as "unmanly" there is one thing you should take a second look at one thing:

Tim's Beard.

Tim McIlrath has one of the manliest the manliest Beard in all of existence ( and yes we're capitalizing "Beard". It's that manly).

JUST

Beard.

FUCKING

Beard

LOOK AT IT

BEARD

Beautiful. It's won awards. No, Really

The Music

Now, on to the music.

"But Cracked," you say, the obvious concern showing in your eyes "how am I supposed to know which songs are just plain awesome and which are the most dongtacular in all of existance?". Well, shut the fuck up and we'll tell you, album by album, until your tiny pop-punk loving brain explodes from the sheer dongtacularity of it all.

The Album

The Unraveling (2001)

The Unraveling is Rise Against's earliest studio album and also one of the best. The songs run the gambit from awesome to super-awesome, and while some people believe "Everchanging" is the best song on the album, some people also listen to Fall Out Boy without trying to take their own lives. Weird, isn't it?

The Songs That Will Rock Your Balls Off

"Reception Fades"

"Gethsemane"

"My Life Inside Your Heart"

"Faint Resemblance"

The Album

Revolutions Per Minute (2003)

In their second album, Rise Against began to show more of their political side, sharing messages about the state of affairs in the US and elsewhere. This, of course, made the songs all the more awesome and made you feel just a tad bit guilty for buying the record from Wal Mart.

The Songs That Will Rock Your Balls Off

"Black Masks and Gasoline"

"Blood-Red, White, and Blue"

"Like the Angel"

"Torches"

The Album

Siren Song Of The Counter Culture (2004)

Rise Against's first release on a nationally known label saw unprecedented success, and was the first record released by the band to go gold. The large measure of success was largely due to the band reaching out to the mainstream, so in regards to the recommended songs-

To the 1,000,000+ 14 year old girls who got here by googling "Swing Life Away + Rise Against": Listen to the other twelve tracks. And for the love of God stop putting lyrics from it in your facebook statuses surrounded by hearts. It makes Tim's Beard cry blood.

The Songs That Will Rock Your Balls Off

"Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated"

"The First Drop"

"State of the Union"

"Tip the Scales"

The Album

The Sufferer & The Witness (2006)

The Sufferer & The Witness marked a real breakthrough to the mainstream for Rise Against, but any who worried about diminishing quality were immediatly silenced when they, you know, listened to the actual music instead of complaining on the internet. But who are we to judge? Here are the cream of the crop from an absolutely brilliant album.

The Songs That Will Rock Your Balls Off

"Drones"

"Behind Closed Doors"

"Injection"

"Chamber the Cartridge"

The Album

Appeal To Reason (2008)

Appeal To Reason

The most recent outing for Rise Against has been their most successful to date, debuting at number three on the Billboard charts, and the first album released with their new guitarist Zach Blair. While some worried that the new guitarist would suck (he doesn't), or that the band's message would be diluted (all of the socialist government hate is still there), or that the music would suck (it's awesome), most fans enjoyed another solid, successful outing from one of the best bands out there. Hey, as long as they keep making music, we'll keep buying it.

The Songs That Will Rock Your Balls Off

"Entertainment"

"The Dirt Whispered"

"Audience Of One"

"Whereabouts Unknown"

The Album

Endgame (2011)

Due for release on later this spring, not much has been heard from the band other than "Hey, we're still alive but not touring in your hemisphere. Have fun watching our new live documentary while weeping!" Luckily, a few scant Twitter/Facebook updates and a few scenes on the aformentioned documentary clued us into the making of a new album, which we soon learned was to be called Endgame. Fan reaction was for the most part indifferent, aside from the few Megadeth fans who screamed bloody murder that another music group would steal an album name from the most boring collection of Metallica wannabes in the last 20 years.

We'd ask Highlander fans how they feel, but they've all killed themselves by now.

In any case, the best sneak peak we have of the new material is the premeire of the lead single "Help is on the Way". And before anyone points it out in the comments, yes we know it's about the Katrina and the Gulf oil spill. That's kind of the thing Rise Against does, with the whole social commentary thing.