Album Review: The Rifles: The Great Escape

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!

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About cmacd1989

Journalism student at the University of Lincoln. Come from Scunthorpe. Interests: Football, music, socialising.
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10 Responses to Album Review: The Rifles: The Great Escape

  1. James says:

    I completely agree. The album is a superb combination of melodies and catchy tunes, with brilliant lyrics to match. Each song is finely sorted. Cant stop listening to each individual song which makes a change from the usual album fillers that alot of cd’s have these days. Great Album! Looking forward to seeing them at fopp in covent garden on thursday, and on tour!

  2. Arty says:

    go buy their album! its brilliant, been listening to all day, cant get enough it

    check http://www.myspace.com/therifles and click itunes button.

    itunes is probably the best bet…its pretty easy to do!

  3. Stephanie says:

    yeahh just bough the album, so far its been brilliant, each song bettering the last..can it get any better??

  4. Henry says:

    It does look lime 09 could bring big things for these guys, have to agree ‘great escape’ has been a triumph for the lads, some great anthems on there!

  5. Jonny Spencer says:

    agreed! rare for me to find an album in which i appreciate each and every song as much as the rifles work, on both no love lost and this new masterpiece! well put mitch!

  6. ed says:

    Yep it seems the rifles are going from strength to strength, 09 is going to be big for them what with their massive tour starting next week.

  7. mike says:

    Just saw on the guys blog they want anyone who has seen them live to post any pictures they took on their flickr, think this is the one??
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/theriflesfanphotos/

    I got some good ones from the roundhouse 🙂

  8. Jack says:

    Mate their on tour atm, make sure u dont miss out on the euro section of the tour…might still be tickets to be had…glad i booked way in advance hehe 🙂
    http://www.therifles.net/?content=tour

  9. hannah says:

    d’ohhh i could have seen them in berlin last week when i was there on hols 😦 thats annoying, ah well at least i’ll catch them at the isle of white festival, sun sun sun!! x

  10. Kris says:

    God i would kill to see them tomorrow in cologne, i’ll just have to read about it on that virgin music website…think they are documenting the european tour, not quite the same as seeing them in all their glory tho 😦

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