The Rifles - None the wiser but still a winning formula
The Rifles steam roll in to 2014 with their trademark Mod sound that will only cement their cult status further within their loyal and diligent fan base. Their fourth studio album 'None The Wiser', released via Cooking Vinyl, out 20th January.
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Out 20th January 2014 via Cooking Vinyl. 7/10. www.therifles.net[/caption] None The Wiser sees The Rifles return with the newly reformed line up of Joel Stoker (vocals, guitar), Lucas Crowther (guitar, vocals), Robert Pyne (drums) and Grant Marsh (bass). The lads return with a highly infectious feel good offering; not forgetting their roots, and not breaking any ground either, their huge and loyal fan base will be more than happy. Having broadened their musical palette, the evident influences are, in their own words,
"Bob Dylan, Talking Heads, some Clash and as always - the Beatles". There is no doubting the genuine song writing talent that exists here. It has allowed The Rifles to outlive many of their peers and, clubbed together with catchy riffs, foot tapping choruses and sticky night club floor anthems, they satisfy their followers with the same formula time and time again. The first few listens of None The Wiser suggest a nod to The Strokes and maybe even The View in places too. A high tempo is present and you can easily imagine them atop a stage in the coming months as they rattle out the likes of 'Minute Mile' or 'Heebie Jeebies'. Both are good sing-along, knee popping numbers that their adorning fans in the pit below will shout along to until they're short of breath. Equally imaginable is the possibility of a few slots over the festival season singing the likes of 'Go Lucky' or 'All I Need'. There is something here for everyone and every musical scenario that you can wave an acoustic guitar at. There exists an evolution here too. 'Catch Her In The Rye' seems a conscious effort to attract the next generation of followers with its structured composition and evolved sounds. Whereas 'The Hardest Place To Find Me' and 'Shoot From The Lip' slip straight back in to that Rifles ethos, as well as adopting a temporarily slower tempo that allows the listener time to reflect and come round from their mid-90's reminiscing. 'Eclectic Eccentric' and 'Under and Over' blaze the album out in time honoured sentimental fashion and a cheeky little secret track is a nod to times of old. This is a well rounded addition to a solid back catalogue. The clue is in the title, The Rifles are "None The Wiser" but then why do they need to be. This is good wholesome fun that gives the people what they want. Few can ply their trade as well as The Rifles do and long may it continue. With nearly ten years of service now under their belt, here's looking forward to the next ten.