1 of 3 thought this review was well written
Rise Against is a Chicago-based punk rock band. They consist of Tim McIlarth on guitar and vocals, Joe Principle on bass and vocals, Brandon Barnes on drums, and Mr. Precision on guitar and vocals (on this album).
Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) is Rise Against's second album, and follows The Unravelling. There was one single released off of this album (Heaven Knows).
Rise Against was started in Chicago by Tim McIlarth and Joe Principle, and they were then named something else (I can't quite remember the name).
The good things about RPM are the mind-blowing riffs and the vocals. The riffs are attention-grabbing, and never get old. The one that stands above every other song, though, is Torches. The riff snatches your attention off the top with a fast-paced, high-energy opening, with Mr. Precision and Tim playing two different things.
Anyway, the vocals were pretty standout as well. Tim's voice is emotional (but not emo). He can scream, sing, pretty much do anything - all while performing thundering riffs and heart-pounding solos.
That's one other thing that makes this album good. The solos that Tim and Precision pull off (I don't know who does what) are incredible at today's punk standards. They're high-pitched, fast, and just plain cool-sounding. Sure, they're not Iron Maiden, but the solos are still pretty damn good.
I swear, with the exception of Torches, Brandon plays the same thing on the drums ALL THE WAY THROUGH. It gets annoying, and the thing he plays sometimes doesn't even blend in with the good stuff. It is usually off-beat, and doesn't stand out in any songs. The tempo doesn't even change!
Something else that drags this album down is the lack of variety in the songs. They're all fast punk. Sure, that's not what Rise Against is really known for, but it would be nice to hear some slow, talented songs (I'm not saying the other songs don't require talent). I know that Rise Against is good at making slow songs (listen to Swing Life Away on Siren Song of the Counter Culture). If they had something like Swing Life Away, this this album would be much better.
Also, the heavier, angrier songs (Dead Ringer and To The Core) were stupid. The vocals were not comprehendable and the guitars didn't help either. Also, Joe's bass in these songs was annoying and unnessecary, like in Black Masks and Gasoline, abruptly halted a great song with a pointless bassline that just doesn't fit.
The album is above average in my opinion. Tim's vocals and the guitar work laid down by Precision and Tim are excellent. But Brandon really drags this album down, with his EXTREMELY repetitve drumming and the way that it doesn't blend. The album isn't as good as Siren Song of the Counter Culture (in my opinion, again) and I can't compare it to The Unravelling since I haven't heard anything off of it. I was slightly dissappointed by RPM, but still enjoyed it at the same time.
Score - 3.5
Black Masks and Gasoline