Rise Against are only one of the most iconic figures of melodic hardcore and punk music of the 21st century. From political topics to personal pieces, there have always been those concepts floating around in each and every track of theirs, which have brought them to where they’re at, right now. Now, sixteen years since they released their debut “The Unraveling”, and three years since their previous, “The Black Market” (2014), their eighth, full-length studio record “Wolves” has now just started to hit the shelves.
To be honest, there isn’t as much to say about this album as I was hoping for, but there are still things that are to be brought up here. There are still plenty of heart-pouring lyricised anthems, like Rise Against have always been credited for. Songs like Bullshit, The Violence and Politics of Love are proof of that move that the band continue to make. However, the more natural niche that was transparent in their previous LP “The Black Market” has somehow disappeared and has made “Wolves” feel a little bland and tedious as its own entity.
Even though a lot of the tracks are the still the trademark Rise Against sound and it continues to feel exciting, “Wolves” has pretty much turned itself into a double-edged sword. There’s no progressive structure involved, and the track listing feels quite out of place, especially with the first few songs placed in the order they’re in.
Unfortunately, on my end, Rise Against have always been a bit hit-and-miss. Don’t get me wrong, they have some incredible songs that are staples on my playlists, and for punk music itself worldwide. But when it comes to “Wolves” being an album and comparing it to all their others, it’s quite a downgrade from “The Black Market”. I haven’t ever lost faith in Rise Against because they’re still capable of putting out some amazing songs. It’s just gonna take a while before we can get another record that’ll match the integrity of “The Sufferer & the Witness”.
“Wolves” is out now via Virgin Records. You can grab your copy through iTunes HERE.