Wolves - Rise Against
Artist: Rise Against
Genre: Punk/Alternative Rock
Review by Nicole Roberts
Have you ever listened to music that has made you feel something? A feeling deep down in your chest, and you can't put your finger on what it is, but it's an incredible feeling that makes you want to sing and move? That's the feeling Rise Against have so often given their fans. Album after album, that's what they've inspired, and Wolves is no different.
For 18 years, Rise Against have flown the punk-rock flag, putting out numerous albums and EPs, their signature mix of moral righteousness, punk attitude, and catchy rock riffs ensuring that every single release has been a memorable one. Even when they released Long Forgotten Songs, a compilation of B-sides and covers, it didn't feel like a throw away album just meant to fill a gap as so many of those types of albums do. It was still full of chorus' you want to scream, melodies that make you want to move, and messages that give you hope - just like everything else Rise Against have put out.
Wolves starts out strong with the title track, 'Wolves'. Frontman Tim McIlrath's familiar vocals make you feel like you're home. Just like on the previous albums, his vocals get even better, with more control and range, without losing their gritty punk-edge. From there, the energy continues, with even their most radio-friendly alternative rock track, 'Politics Of Love', continuing to be highly dynamic and powerful.
'Welcome To The Breakdown' is probably one of my favourite songs from the album. It's got the fast paced, balls to the wall verses with some impressively tight drumming from Brandon Barnes that shifts easily into high energy chorus that even non-Rise Against fans will like. Other highlights from the album include album closer 'Miracle' with the interesting riff peppered throughout and 'The Violence', a classic Rise Against offering.
One of the reasons the album is so good is that it's definitely a melding of their earlier, more punk influenced sound with their more recent albums which err on the side of alternative rock. They've managed to find the perfect middle ground between the two sides of their music, while still offering something new and interesting.
Their songwriting has definitely gone from strength to strength as well, with Wolves serving as the perfect display of how capable they are of creating music with purpose. Unlike so many other bands, Rise Against have mastered their craft in such a way that it sees not a single drum beat or guitar stream being wasted or out of place. Instead, everything has its reason, and every second of the album is used to maximise the impact of the music. Their continued ability to write songs where every instrument also works perfectly together, from the steady bass of Joe Principe, to the powerful drumming from Barnes, the inspiring vocals of McIlrath to the dynamic guitars of Zach Blair, they all work cohesively together to make some brilliant music.
Basically, this album is nothing short of fantastic. It's classic Rise Against, and if you've liked any of their previous albums, you'll certainly like this one. It's the high energy, defiant punk attitude of The Sufferer And The Witness mixed with the maturity and succinct songwriting of The Black Market. Every moment on the album is interesting and attention grabbing, even after a few listens. Definitely one to pick up and listen to on repeat as loud as possible.
9 out of 10.
Wolves will be out June 9 2017. You can pre-order it now here.
Check out 'House On Fire' below: