Ok, this promises to be a big year for music. Here, I’m going to put across my feelings on the latest release by London indie group The Rifles.
Entitled The Great Escape, this is the band’s second album, after their debut No Love Lost. Ok, lets open the CD case and put the disc into the CD player…
Bang. Track one, Science Is Violence, booms into life straight away. You can’t help but sit up and take note at what you are listening to. A crashing guitar intro reverberates round your head before it settles down, and Joel Stoker’s voice strikes up. A cracking opening track finishes strongly with a chorus of ‘the world is ours and ours alone’. Next up is the title track, and the opening single from the new album. In a similar vein to the first track, it mocks society, talking about changing religions based on what you see on television, and buying ‘a brand new semi next door to the Taliban.’
Blimey, this has got you gripped already. Fall To Sorrow is next up, the latest single release, and though it may be one of the weaker songs, it’s catchy riffs will still have you whistling all day long. Sometimes has the same effect; perhaps not a stand out, but all the same, not one to ignore.
It’s clear by now that this is a statement of disillusionment with modern society. Toerag reinforces the idea, a simple three chord guitar backing with a soft drumbeat. It’s like a stream of consciousness pouring from Stoker’s mouth as he talks about ‘shattered glass on the floor’ because the ‘kids have run out of games.’ The harmony is completed by a duo chorus, Lucus Crowther, nicknamed Robin Hood by the group’s fans, joining in with Stoker to declare ‘I don’t see that it’s ever gonna change.’
Five tracks in, and this is really something. This band should be far better known than they are. Could this be the year that The Rifles come to the fore? Track six, History, serves only as a reinforcement to the argument that this could be the case. A simply delightful and unforgettable tune, with a blinding chorus you’ll be humming for days on end.
Fans of the band may be familiar with the next track, Winter Calls. It was released on an earlier EP, but this time it’s slower, and more classy. Then, just when you don’t think it can get any better, Out In The Past flatters to deceive. A brilliant opening builds up as the guitars fade in, and then the drums kick in for a foot stomping number. Romeo and Julie comes next, an upbeat, modern time love song based around Shakespeare’s aged play. The Romeo and Juliet thing has been done a million times, yet The Rifles still pull it off.
Listening through this, it’s fantastic, but you still get the impression we’re building up to something special. That’s exactly the case. Track 10. The General. Wow. This is the piéce de résistance. A fantastic opening salvo of four different guitar riffs, backed by keyboard synths and banging drums. And then the lyrics. ‘When he was younger he could rumble like a hurricane, and leave you lying with a hunger for some more again…’ Very apt; this song is like a whirlwind adventure. You feel like you need to get up and jump around, as the track changes pace throughout. You’re exhausted just listening to it.
Luckily though, For The Meantime serves as a gentle soothing end to a quite stunning album. Heed my advice, get this album. It’ll leave you wanting more. I’m off to play it again, as it happens…
Why not vote for your favourite track from the album!