Rise Against
Wolves


3.5
great

Review

by TooManyFriends USER (24 Reviews)
June 9th, 2017 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If nothing else, Rise Against sound like they give a shit again

The past 10 years or so have been a slippery slope for Rise Against. As they’ve ascended into the annals of mainstream rock stardom, the ferocious punk edge they made their names on has slowly withered away. While there have still been moments of heartbreaking sincerity in their recent work (LGBT youth anthem “Make It Stop” comes to mind), even the band’s most diehard fans will argue the band’s last three albums have veered dangerously close to “going through the motions” territory. Enter Wolves.

On principle, Rise Against are a political band. While all their records to this point have had an emotional touch, they’ve been generally raging at injustice for the last 15-some years, and this hasn’t changed in the least bit in Donald Trump's America. Songs like the title track and “Welcome To The Breakdown” (cheesy title aside) are packed with the same urgency of Siren Song of the Counter Culture and The Sufferer and the Witness, a bit worn with age but undeniably a step up in delivery from the near-catatonic Endgame and The Black Market. There’s certainly no arguing that a more hostile political climate breeds more a passionate Rise Against, and it’s probably not a coincidence that the weakest tracks Wolves has to offer are the ones with more personal themes (“House On Fire”, “Politics of Love”). Rise Against are at their best when they’re angry, and thankfully, this record sees them pretty angry.

This passion is most well reflected in the energetic composition of the songs. There’s no token acoustic ballad; there’s no swinging butt-rock grooves; there’s no…. whatever that was on the title track to The Black Market. For most of Wolves, Rise Against sound not only like a punk band, but a punk band that wants to be a punk band. While they will never regain what they lost in 2006 with Chris Chasse’s guitar leads, this is Zach Blair’s best effort with the band to date. There’s a few genuine “oh ***” moments here, such as the monolithic bridge riff in closing track “Miracle”, assuredly the band’s best song in at least a decade. At nearly 40 years old, Tim McIlrath’s voice doesn’t quite have the gruffness of yesteryear, but it actually feels like he’s giving these songs everything he’s got this time around, especially on the succintly titled “Bull***”.

No, Wolves is not the direct sequel to The Sufferer and the Witness. That album is 11 years in the past, and that band isn’t coming back. But Wolves succeeds where its predecessors have failed because it’s what a late-stage Rise Against album should sound like. In an era where a strong message from an overtly political band is needed more than ever, Rise Against have come through with something sincere and meaningful. That alone should count for something.



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user ratings (292)
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Rowan5215 STAFF (2.2)
Lost out, beat u- wait, no, nevermind....

Joeman82 (3.5)
Far from perfect, but huge steps in the right direction....

DropTune (3.5)
Back to the basics....


Comments:Add a Comment 
TooManyFriends
June 9th 2017


3116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2 reviews in a month i'm out of my mind

sempiturtle
June 9th 2017


1542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hovering between a 3.5 and a 4 for me atm. This was much, much better than The Black Market.

fallenbird
June 9th 2017


4487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is definitely an improvement. Wolves, Welcome to the Breakdown, and How Many Walls are absolute jems

Flugmorph
June 9th 2017


21541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hmm, might need to check

Digging: Cult of Luna - A Dawn to Fear

onionbubs
June 9th 2017


11814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this the most "punk" thing they've done since sufferer which i'm all for. i dug this, cliche lyrics aside. it's certainly welcome to hear tim scream in places tho no song is eco terrorist level



funny how hear we hear both his best and worst vocal performances since sufferer

Digging: Blink-182 - Nine

AsleepInTheBack
June 9th 2017


5999 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

not sure I'm feeling this, quite meh, though maybe my taste has just shifted away from what these guys offer. I'll admit that it seems to be a bit better than their last effort

FullOfSounds
June 9th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm skeptical this is any good

AsleepInTheBack
June 9th 2017


5999 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's nothing special

butcherboy
June 9th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

seems like the typical trajectory of rallying after some bad albums, and putting out a mildly better one.. beginning of the end (thankfully)



good review, pos.. but - "Songs like the title track and “Welcome To The Breakdown” (cheesy title aside)"



band is all cheese anyway..

QuinnObropta
June 9th 2017


143 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's a huge step in the right direction. I love how Tim's so mad he has a song where he literally screams about how this is bullshit 20 times.

QuinnObropta
June 9th 2017


143 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's a huge step in the right direction. I love how Tim's so mad he has a song where he literally screams about how this is bullshit 20 times.

AsleepInTheBack
June 9th 2017


5999 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

that came across as quite forced to me, but fair play, glad you're digging it

Joeman82
June 9th 2017


936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You know, it seems like Rise Against really tried to fuse their modern melody driven sound with some actual punk elements on this album. I appreciate that greatly. The production just seems really off to me on this album though.

IcarusTheTowel
June 24th 2017


47 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I don't why everyone gives so much hate to the black market, I thought it was better than anything since TSTW (including this)



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