Release Date: Jan 20, 2014
Record label: Cooking Vinyl Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
With the original line-up back in place after bassist Robert Pyne and drummer Grant Marsh returned to the fold alongside Joel Stoker and Lucas Crowther, Chingford’s The Rifles will be hoping to break away from the band’s almost cult status to that of a more recognised household name. Since their formation in 2004, three albums have seen the light of day – debut No Love Lost in 2006 introduced the quartet as mod (particularly The Jam) influenced portrayers of exciting lad rock. Whilst follow up Great Escape followed in the same fashion, 2011’s Freedom Run saw them evolving, moving towards more grandiose, orchestral pop in places as well as acid rock and psychedelia after the rhythm section was completely replaced for reported financial reasons, with Garda’s Lee Burgess and Kenton Shinn stepping in.
Since 2004, The Rifles have ploughed a very particular furrow, releasing album after small-to-midsize-venue-filling album of spiky, straightforward and defiantly unfashionable guitar-pop that’s as aware of its limitations as it is careful to play to its strengths. They’re not the most inspiring of bands, but there’s no denying they do what they do well enough, and the likes of ‘Heebie Jeebies’ and ‘Catch Her In The Rye’ (good song, awful title) are testament to Joel Stoker’s reputation as a sturdy tunesmith. Yet while their true believers might not mind the record’s overall lack of variety, for anyone new to the band there’s little on ‘None The Wiser’ to separate them from the indie-rock chaff.Barry Nicolson .