Wolves represents Rise Against’s eighth studio album and if its half as good as the seven predecessors, we are all in for a treat!
A bit like Green Day, Rise Against have earned considerable mainstream success despite staying true to their punk rock roots. Hailing from Fat Mike’s stables, where they released their first two (lesser known, but fucking amazing) albums and enjoyed a strong underground following, they were catapulted into the spotlight following the release of their 2004 album Siren Song for the Counter Culture on the back of songs like Life Less Frightening, Give It All and the softer Swing Life Away.
From then Rise Against have gone from strength to strength releasing album after album choc-a-block full of edgy, angry, thought provoking, politically fuelled punk rock gold, along with the occasional softer emotional sing along song. Combined with a blistering live show that takes no prisoners, it is no surprise that their fan base continues to grow and grow.
So have Rise Against delivered again with Wolves? Oh yeah, they have!!
Before you even press play, you are greeted by the angry looking wolf guarding the cover, which prepares you for the visceral onslaught that awaits within. Then you press play and if there was any thought that Rise Against might be slowing down or changing direction, Tim McIlrath quickly quashes that as he tears into “Light all the torches and wake up the King” the opening lyric of the title track Wolves.
The familiar Rise Against sound and message is present throughout the record, but why change something that kills and with Trump occupying the White House there is political fodder to boot.
Standouts for me are the title track Wolves and Welcome to the Breakdown which should provide a great sing along in the Rise Against live show. Also keep an ear out for the slower more emotional ‘one for the ladies’ Far From Perfect, which should ensure Tim and co continue to get laid when they come to a town near you ;-). And they have also catered for the newbie kid starting out on their path of rebellion, as I’m sure they’ll enjoy (as fifteen year old me would have) passionately screaming along to Bullshit.
Will Wolves deliver a new legion of Rise Against fans? Absolutely no doubt, and most of us old fans will stick around too!
Will the Wolves album translate into the Rise Against live show? Perfectly!
Will Rise Against bring their Wolves tour to Australia? Of course they will… Well they fucken better!
Review by Tim Nicholas
Rise Against Wolves is out on 9 June