Wolves by Rise Against - A vicious showcase of bringing people together
That's the name of the song off of Rise Against's Latest Album, Wolves, that most resonated with me. 21 times it shows up by my count. I love the English language. The use of words should be precise and cutting when necessary.
And the one word I feel aptly describes the political and social climate of the United States. We polarize each other by calling one side snowflakes and the other side rednecks. Republican no longer describes a set of political beliefs but is used as an insult. Punk rock has never shied away from using harsh language and taking one side or the other on an issue. This particular album, however, attacks concepts and encourages people to work out their differences. The difference between this album and their earlier work seems to be the emphasis on working together. It's not us versus them as a public, but us versus corrupt ideals. Us as a people.
In his writing, frontman Tim McIlrath constantly emphasizes the humanity in common men and women. He points to the fact that our current political system and the media that it pays for encourages us to think of each other as enemies, depending on which side of the political spectrum we choose to be on. Some of my favorite tracks off the album are;
- Wolves, which makes one want to viciously do something of significance. To be part of something that helps stop 'the long discontent'
- Miracle, which encourages people to work through their problems in spite of what is said about them. It encourages people not to act on faith alone, but to be our own saviors
- Welcome to the Breakdown, is an imagining the height of a Trump-inspired hysteria.
Rise Against has always been great for empathy. The performance echoes the frustration that most people feel. If I had one album to play to people trapped in a room together, it would be this one. Okay, I wouldn't trap people in a room.