Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Rifles

I think it's a case of straight to the point with this post. The brand new album by The Rifles entitled "None The Wiser" which came this week is quite simply an absolute belter. It has been a long wait for it to come out, but it has been more than worth it. It is the band's 4th studio album and it more than holds its own with their previous efforts. What does it sound like? I don't think there is any harm in making comparisons to bands like The Jam, but for me it just sounds like The Rifles! Elements from all the previous 3 albums are in there so we get the fast energetic melodic guitar tracks as well as some beautifully crafted acoustic sounding slower tempo songs. I think my favourite song on the album at the moment is "You Win Some", which has a fantastic unofficial video to go with it, but seeing as I am playing the album non stop at the moment I am sure this will change in the days ahead. It seems these days that guitar driven bands like The Rifles struggle to get much radio airplay, which is simply beyond belief. It can't be because the music is not popular as the band have no problem filling concert venues and the new album is riding high at number 6 in the midweek charts during its first week of release. Its about time radio stations stopped deciding for themselves what is and what is not popular and created their playlists a little bit more based on facts...

I kind of missed out early Rifles material at the time, and not sure why as its bloody brilliant including the wonderful "She's Got Standards". By the time I got round to trying to buy the debut album "No Love Lost" it had been deleted. As much as I love the band I refuse to pay the high prices now being asked for the album so I had to resort to downloading it from a file sharing site. I shall have to hope that one day it gets reissued so as to get a genuine copy.

However I was right on cue to buy "Great Escape" the fantastic 2nd album. This album has been my favourite album by them to date, and I think it will be a close run thing with the new album as to whether it remains so. This album contains the live favourite anthem of "Romeo & Julie", which when seen live with a crowd in full song is about as good as things get at any gig...

The third album "Freedom Run" continued the run of quality material being released by the band. Around this time I was due to go and see the band live for the first time at The Coronet in London, I had my ticket and everything was set, and then unforeseen circumstances prevented me from going at the last minute. I put this right in 2012 going to see an acoustic show in Oxford which was amazing. Last year I went Rifles mad seeing the acoustic tour in Reading, then 3 dates in one week in November with the original line up playing back together, plus finishing off going to a Christmas concert at the Boogaloo in London. I am looking forward to seeing them on tour this spring in London.

Don't underestimate this band. They write rousing guitar driven anthems with lyrics that are both insightful and connect with their audience. They have also released 2 acoustic albums on their website of the songs of their career to date, and this is where the stripped back versions let the lyrics come much more to the forefront. This a band at the top of their game.

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