Rise Against’s heavier, punky days are behind them, but their songwriting skills remain triumphantly strong. Eighteen years after their formation, their passion is unwavering, their lyrics earnest and their energy inspiring. As with their 2014 album, The Black Market, Wolves leans strongly towards radio-ready rock, the attitude proving rather spikier than their sound, which is inarguably engaging but grows steadily more accessible and melodic. That said, this time there are a lot of smart, sticky tunes to be found and Tim McIlrath’s vocals remain strong. Far From Perfect and Politics Of Love may be clichéd, but the self-titled album opener is fierce, The Violence is infectious and Bullshit is seeped in angst with a live-worthy singalong chorus. Rise Against certainly know how to sweep you along for the ride.
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