Rise Against started life as another hardcore band, with a little more political bite than their counter parts in the early 00s. Slowly they became more rock orientated but with the same political bite, just a little more hidden in their lyrical content.
The band have been on the up and up across their last three releases, and this album is a little more of that same winning formula. Starting with the title track ‘Wolves’ it has more of the hardcore edge than I remember since I last listened to a release by this band.
As the album continues Rise Against seems to be able to balance the ‘modern’ rock sound and their former hardcore selves. Tim McIlrath has grown tremendously as a vocalist, managing to hold a bark in parts of ‘House On Fire’ while crooning to great effect on ‘Politics Of Love’.
‘Bullshit’ placed near the centre of the album is the band’s biggest attempt to do something different, swinging from reggae to a huge rock feel. ‘Welcome to the Breakdown’ is an absolute hardcore rager for those of us who miss the anger that once seemed to ooze from the speakers when playing this band’s earlier albums, and it feels tangibly out of control before the call to arms in the last verse reigns it in just a bit.
I admit that I have probably ignored this band at my own peril over the last couple of albums, but something feels different about this release. Sure the rock leanings are still there, but the current state of the world seems to have lit a fire under main man McIlrath and he is back letting us know all about it.
Wolves is a great display of everything Rise Against is capable off, and a great middle finger to those of us who wrote them off years ago and moved onto more of the same old thing. I am glad they have found their bite again.
2. House on Fire
3. The Violence
4. Welcome to the Breakdown
5. Far From Perfect
7. Politics of Love
8. Parts per Million
9. Mourning in Amerika
10. How Many Walls
13. Broadcast [Signal] Frequency