Like pages ripped out of a punk rock diary, Rise Against’s expansive 26-song album, Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000–2013, chronicles the band’s sonic journey through rare, raucous b-sides and covers that hint at Rise Against’s influences over the years.
The album starts with a perfect musical introduction in “Historia Calamitatum,” which is derived from an autobiographical story written by French philosopher Peter Abelard and translates to “A History of My Calamities.”
While the Chicago-based band has 13 years and six albums together as a band, their musical collection seems more like a celebration than a calamity. It features covers by Face to Face (“Blind”), Bob Dylan (“Ballad of Hollis Brown”), Malvina Reynolds (“Little Boxes”), Minor Threat (“Minor Threat”), Black Flag (“Nervous Breakdown”), Lifetime (“The Boy’s No Good”), Journey (“Any Way You Want It”), Nirvana (“Sliver”), Bruce Springsteen (“The Ghost Of Tom Joad”), and even a volatile version of Danny Elfman’s song from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas movie, “Making Christmas.”
The Springsteen cover, which was previewed earlier this summer, came together with surprising ease. The live song was performed in September of 2012 and features Waylon Kramer from MC5, Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, and Brian Fallon from Gaslight Anthem.
“This whole experience was surreal and serendipitous,” said guitarist Zach Blair to Rolling Stone. “We wanted to do something special and we were touring with Brian and Gaslight Anthem so the tricky part was seeing if Wayne Kramer and Tom Morello were available. Somehow they were and both agreed to doing it! Needless to say, we were stoked. We were going to get to share the stage with Brian Fallon who we love and admire but also not one, but two legends!”
The rest of the album is an array of original songs that were once b-sides, bonus songs, or feature songs. All the tunes are all incredibly cohesive with Rise Against’s hardcore punk sound which begs the question, “Why were some of these songs not included on albums over the past 13 years. Frontman Tim McIlrath explained to the Daily Star that “it tends to be obvious which song is the black sheep.”
“We’ll fight all day about where to get lunch,” he continued, “but when it comes to the song, we all tend to be on the same page.”
Set for release September 10, Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides And Covers 2000-2013 is now available for pre-order on iTunes.