Australian HIFI - - ON TEST -

Wolves (Vir­gin)

Rise Against’s last few records were re­leased un­der a demo­cratic ad­min­is­tra­tion that they gen­er­ally agreed with, which took a bit of bite out of the band. Wolves, on the other hand, harks back to a younger Rise Against, with a reawak­ened raw pas­sion, fu­elled by frus­tra­tion that won’t ac­cept the right-wing sta­tus quo. Where the last two al­bums floated around var­i­ous so­cial is­sues, Wolves has a clear, con­tem­po­rary tar­get that keeps the band on track, am­pli­fy­ing the ef­fect of their an­themic sing-along cho­ruses, roar­ing riffs and sweat-drenched en­thu­si­asm. Un­for­tu­nately, the mighty howl is re­duced to a clichéd whim­per ev­ery now and then, as Rise Against fill time be­tween hard-hit­ters with at­tempted heart­felt songs that feel like they were writ­ten on the fly. But Wolves man­ages to re­build mo­men­tum for the most part, by in­vok­ing a sense of unity as it at­tacks preva­lent con­ser­va­tive and re­gres­sive ide­olo­gies. P.Z.

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