(Out Jan 20th on Cooking Vinyl)
THE RIFLES HAVE ALWAYS COME ACROSS as yet another of those bands with the odd crowd-pleasing tune, that ultimately ends up as forgettable indie landfill; only making it as far as the Soccer AM sofa. So when word came through of a fourth studio album, it was a surprise to hear they had indeed kept going so long. The thing is, it’s a fair shout that The Rifles are a band that are better than your average indie chancers. ‘None the Wiser’ is an unashamed nod to their Mod, lad rock roots, with two members of the original line up making a return – Grant Marsh (bass) and Rob Pyne (drums) – the album is a more mature version of their debut ‘No Love Lost’; jam packed with simple hooks and riffs.
The opener ‘Minute Mile’ with its basic but intensive Cribs-esque riff sets us off in style. It’s the stand out single; a radio friendly slice of up tempo Indie Pop that continues with ‘Heebie Jeebies’, which is The Rifles by numbers; boyant, toe-tappin’, rockabilly even. ‘Go Lucky’ follows suit and wouldn’t have sounded out of place in the mid-90s Britpop era with anthemic singalong lyrics, destined to be a summer favourite. The pace slows with ‘All I Need’ and ‘You Win Some’, revealing their straight up Indie roots, while ‘The Hardest Place To Find Me’ demonstrates more maturity through a well crafted, country-tinged slow burner that flourishes from an acoustic and tambourine intro up into a rising crescendo.
Clocking in at a punchy 40 mins this is The Rifles doing what The Rifles do best; nothing particularly ground breaking, but easily digestible and ready-made for their considerable fanbase. (7)