Review Summary: "I just wanna save you for a huge collection of unreleased tracks."
With a career spanning over fourteen years, numerous top ten hit singles, and two near-classic albums, Rise Against have undoubtedly made a name for themselves as one of the best bands in the modern punk rock scene (forgetting that Appeal to Reason
ever happened). Throughout their career, they've released a ton of excellent songs, but not all of them were able to make it onto their six studio albums. Some tracks were left behind, released on soundtracks, or merely slapped on as bonus tracks.
In other words, Rise Against have a hell lot of B-sides. That's why Long Forgotten Songs
is such a pleasant surprise; all of the band's songs never released on albums before packaged together in one gigantic album. Many old favorites return; "But Tonight We Dance" and its infectious, moving chorus sounds as fresh as the first time I heard it. The acoustic version of "Everchanging" improves over the original track from The Unraveling
, as Tim McIlrath's vocals are cleaned up, and his guitarwork on the track is simply excellent. The passion in his voice as he sings the chorus is a true highlight of the compilation, and obviously the highlight of the song. The original version of "Give It All" isn't too shabby either; Tim's vocals may be a little too rough, but it's definitely more hardcore than the version that would be released on Siren Song
. “Death Blossoms”, a song released only as DLC for Guitar Hero World Tour, contains some of Tim’s best screaming sections on the entire album. Even "Gethsemane" and "Join the Ranks", which were both included on The Unraveling
, are strangely included here.
Rise Against's covers aren't too bad, though some of them don't hold a candle to the original. "Minor Threat" isn't too bad, but compared to the original, it's far behind, and the same goes for their take on Nirvana's "Sliver" and Lifetime's "Boy's No Good". Their take on "Making Christmas" tries to be unique, but ends up falling flat. "Nervous Breakdown" and "Built to Last", though, are pretty close in terms of quality to the original, and their renditions of "Any Where You Want It" (also included as a hidden track on Revolutions per Minute
), "Blind" and "Little Boxes" are actually- dare I say it- better than the original.
Yet, amongst all of the spectacular and excellent tracks, some tracks justify why they were only passed over as B-sides. “Lanterns” is incredibly bland and devoid of substance (well, it was a bonus track off of Endgame
– what else did you expect?), and like most Rise Against’s recent work, its main problem is simply that McIlrath sounds tired and bored as he’s singing. The same goes for “Dirt and Roses”, "Sight Unseen" and “Historia Calamitatum”; they’re just boring mainstream rock songs that lack personality.
Overall, if you’re a Rise Against fan, Long Forgotten Songs
is a compilation that you need to get. Many of the band’s fan favorites and hidden gems are included here, from the hardcore punk tunes reminiscent of the band’s first two albums, to the Sufferer
-era of blending hardcore and mainstream rock perfectly together. Twenty-six songs may seem a bit much for a rarities compilation, but most of these songs are completely worth your time. These are the long forgotten songs, and daughters who don’t belong to anyone.