Rise Against

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Rise Against is a Punk Rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1999 under the name Transistor Revolt. The band was renamed Rise Against before the release of their first album 'The Unraveling' in 2001.


  • Tim McIlrath: lead vocals, guitar
  • Zach Blair : lead guitar
  • Joe Principe: bass, backing vocals
  • Brandon Barnes: drums, percussion
  • The Unraveling (2001)
  • Revolutions per Minute (2003)
  • Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004)
  • The Sufferer & the Witness (2006)
  • Appeal to Reason (2008)
  • Endgame (2011)


Rise Against provides examples of the following tropes:

He said "Son, have you seen the world? / Well what would you say if I said that you could?"

  • Black Sheep Hit - "Swing Life Away"
  • Break Up Song - "Everchanging", "The Approaching Curve", "Blood To Bleed".
  • Careful with That Axe
  • Cluster F-Bomb - "Survive" has the F word in it four times, which is a unique deviation from the band's usual style.
  • Crossover: With Flobots. Tim McIlrath performs the lead vocals for the group in their song White Flag Warriors.
  • Dual-Meaning Chorus - Many of their songs can be interpreted in multiple ways.
  • Downer Ending: Hero of War: the man in the story fails to stop his friends from committing war crimes (which are suspiciously similar to some committed by US troops in a certain prison in Iraq), and then falls to peer pressure and joins in. Later, he ends up killing a woman who was unarmed and holding a white flag. The man ends up going home, broken and defeated, with his love of country tainted by what he's seen in war.
  • Driven to Suicide - "Heaven Knows".
  • Hidden Track - There's a a rather faithful cover of "Any Way You Want It", of all things on Revolutions Per Minute, which plays about a minute after the last song ends.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure - Inverted in the music video for "Re-education (Through Labor)", the characters of the video are watching Chicago burn, but that was their aim.
  • In Memoriam - "Make It Stop (September's Children)" was written to address the growing problem of homophobia, and to honor the memories of those that perished in the September 2010 suicides and those who have committed suicide for bullying, for whatever reasons, throughout time. It even quotes the names of the victims: Tyler Clementi (18), Billy Lucas (15), Harrison Chase Brown (15), Cody J. Barker (17), and Seth Walsh (13). The video makes this even more apparent.
  • "Join the Army," They Said - "Hero of War" and "Survivor Guilt"
  • Loudness War
    • Averted with their first two albums (on an Indie label), played straight with the rest of their discography.
  • Lyrical Dissonance - The catchy and upbeat-sounding chorus of Savior stands in sharp contrast to the desperate and rather depressing lyrics.
  • Mismatched Eyes - Tim has one brown eye, one blue
  • Motor Mouth - "Chamber The Cartridge" and "Bricks".
    • Also "Generation Lost".
  • Music Video Overshadowing
  • New Sound Album - Starting with Siren Song Of The Counter Culture, they began to ramp up the political tone of their lyrics, while acquiring a more polished, mainstream sound. Opinions on this direction vary, but are generally positive.
  • Non-Appearing Title - Played straight in many songs, averted in others.
    • Make It Stop (September's Children) is half an example, as "Make it stop" is a line in the chorus, but "September's children" is not in the song.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: Hero of War is essentially a string of these after the first chorus.
  • Pep Talk Song - "Survive". "Halfway There".
  • Power Ballad - "Swing Life Away"
  • Protest Song - Well, duh. Endgame, in particular, is almost a Protest album.
  • Precision F-Strike - "Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated", "Survivor Guilt", "Architects", and "State of the Union"
    •  : Other instances are in "Dead Ringer" and "To The Core". The band is very fond of this trope.
  • Signature Song - Arguably Prayer of the Refugee, Savior, Injection.
  • Singing Simlish - Savior was in The Sims 3
  • Spoken Word in Music - The verses of "The Approaching Curve". They also use clips of dialogue from American Beauty in "Last Chance Blueprint" and dialogue from the film Henry Fool in "Reception Fades".
  • Stepford Smiler - "Paper Wings" and "Audience of One"
  • Straight Edge- The entire band, except drummer Brandon Barnes.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song - "Swing Life Away"
    • Also "Roadside" and "Hero of War", though YMMV on whether or not those are too surprising.... "Wait For Me" starts off like this, but gets harder later on.
  • Take That - Compare the Against Me! song ‘’I was a Teenage Anarchist’’ with ‘’Architects’’
    • Against Me!: Do you remember when you were young? And you wanted to set the world on fire?
    • Rise Against: Do you remember when you were young? And you wanted to set the world on fire? Well I still am, and I still do!
    • "Blood Red, White, and Blue" is a pretty blatant Take That against the Bush administration.

would God bless a murder of the innocent?
would God bless a war based on pride?
would God bless a money-hungry government? No!

  • The Other Darrin - There have been four guitarists in the band before Zach Blair. Chris Chasse was the only one to last more than an album (he played on The Sufferer and The Witness and Siren Song).
  • The Runaway - Paper Wings
  • Wanderlust Song - "Anywhere But Here"
  • War Is Hell
  • The Windy City - The home of the band and the setting for their videos. Not that they have any particular affinity for it, a bunch of punk rock terrorists bomb the hell out of it in the video for "Re-Education (Through Labor)"
  • A World Half Full - "Worth Dying For".