Picks and Pans Review: Rise Against

UPDATED 08/07/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/07/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

The Sufferer & the Witness

Rise Against definitely brings a defiant spirit to its fourth album. On tracks guaranteed to make sensitive ears suffer, the Chicago-based punk-rock quartet unleashes an all-out attack of blistering guitars, ripping drums and frontman Tim McIlrath's rebel yell. "Ready to Fall," the hyper-emotive first single, showcases the band's ability to combine hardcore with hooks, while "The Approaching Curve" takes an arty turn by incorporating spoken-word elements. Most surprising, though, is the string-laden ballad "Roadside," which shows just how affecting these dudes can be when they lay down their arms.

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DOWNLOAD THIS: "Ready to Fall"

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