The Rifles – Freedom Run (Right Hook)

September 25, 2011 by  

It has been a couple of years since The Rifles’ ‘Great Escape’ album hit the record shop shelves during 2009. A release, which very much highlighted the band’s no-nonsense, no-frills approach to guitar based pop music. Since then there’s been a reshuffle in the ranks and The Rifles now comprise of two new recruits following the departure of two founding members who adorned bass and drums respectively. Despite this, fans fear not, ‘Freedom Run’ still very much possesses the many pop traits that littered the ‘Great Escape’ album.

Bursting into life with Dreamer, a track which thunders along with a four to the floor snare part, it’s instantly apparent that The Rifles have retained the magic that the band have always lugged around in their arsenal. The highlight perhaps being the chorus, which anyone with an ounce of musical ability will wish they’d had the foresight to have penned themselves.

The thing that always comes across on record about The Rifles is that they tend to possess an accidental Britpop era meets The Beatles esque format, which whilst sounding slightly awkward on paper, aurally, works a treat and this vibe is no better represented than on track Love Is A Key, a toe-tap fest no less.

Other standouts include the more downbeat tracks Falling and Nothing Matters which show a slightly darker side to the band. Falling’s simple outro lyrical hook ‘just a feeling, what are you feeling’ is evocative and by the end of the song, the only criticism on offer is that there isn’t a reprise version straight after.

Alas whilst, yes, Freedom Run’s tracks are in places a tad samey if not thin, such critique can be quite quickly dismissed. This is based on the fact The Rifles put a lot of other guitar based bands to shame as instead of ploughing hours into production to make the songs come alive, the tracks here are to the point, tight and as a whole the album sounds like it has been attacked with even more gusto than that shown by the Scots Guards during 1943.

For a group with a partially new line up, Freedom Run is an extremely strong effort.

[rating:3.5]


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