Reviewed by Alison Northway for Wall Of Sound | Published 2017 June 7
Across their existence, Rise Against has delivered powerful political messages and fought for social justice. Wolves rises up the occasion, not only bringing into question how the current world climate we know has come to exist, but even more importantly, empowering the listener to understand their own existence, to question things they don’t feel are right, and to be a good global citizen.
Simply put, Rise’s eighth studio release is a solid punk rock album with timeless appeal. Wolves is uplifting. Wolves can be to the listener what they want it to be.
The pace and messaging of each track, are what Rise Against fans have come to expect and demand, and they will be not disappointed in knowing this is front and centre in the journey Wolves takes them on. New listeners don’t need to know who they are or have ever heard a track from these punk rockers before, in order to appreciate and rock out to this album. It is easily relatable and easy to digest.
Title track, ‘Wolves’, dives straight in. It’s punk, it’s rock, it’s heavy. Sending out the message of the hunt for truth, being weary of those who may appear wounded but are powerful as a pack. ‘House On Fire’, gives us our first swears of the album, and will have you moving your feet, banging your head and singing along right now-ow oh oo oh oh. This is so damn catchy, I promise you won’t get it out of your head and will get you in a positive mood.
First track off the album to be released, ‘Violence’ is fist-pumping’ly rock, with a 90’s power ballad feel. ‘Welcome To The Breakdown’ delivers what Rise fans love most about Brandon Barnes drumming style, combined with Tim McIlrath’s signature rasp and screams.
For those who love ‘Survive’ (The Sufferer & The Witness), and have been searching for their new motivation anthem, ‘Far From Perfect’ is it. With lyrics like we are far from perfect, but perfect as we are and we are broken but we are goddam works of art, ‘Far From Perfect’ commands you to step away from wallowing in your own self-pity and simply get on with it.
Each track on the album has its own, but consistent, message. Spanning the entire album, you can feel the band genuinely believe in what they write, taking pride in what they have delivered. The song writing is considered, mature, authentic and organic. The honesty of Tim McIlrath’s voice is inviting, sincere and comforting, alongside his brutally honest lyrics.
Wolves has become a friend of mine, I feel I know it intimately. It has accompanied me on the train, in the shower, on shopping trips, to the gym, in the office, at the dinner table. I know we’re going to be together for a while now. I suggest you befriend Wolves too, you’ll be singing (/screaming) along, rocking out and more importantly, be inspired and motivated before you know it.
Rise Against has given the world something rare in Wolves. It is honest, but positive. It is perfectly, politically punk. It is inspired and inspiring. It is uplifting.
Reviewed by Alison Northway for Wall Of Sound | Published 2017 June 7
Rating: 8/10
Wolves is out Friday 9th June via EMI Australia. Pre-Order your copy right here

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