No Love Lost
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The Rifles have come along way since they released their first single 'Peace & Quiet' on their own Blow Up label out of their front rooms in Walthamstow. They've seen their musical heroes converted into fans (Graham Coxon, Madness, Terry Hall), had two chart hits and in the process won the hearts and ears of thousands of fans. Now the band present their debut album - 'No Love Lost' - 11 slices of guitar-pop perfection with no flab and no filler.
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The fantastic Mr. Ian Broudie (The Zutons, The Subways, The Coral) on production duties has refined the band's punky live sound. Opening shot 'She's Got Standards' was lauded by the NME as the "Specials-scrapping-with-The-Strokes".
Second single 'Local Boy' jangles with the pop nous of The Smiths. Little wonder that as their debut single for Red Ink Recordings. Telling the story of old boy Jimmy "sitting in the uniform of a three piece suit and the ribbons from his past" while he sees an "empty place deteriorating" around him, the track showcased Stoker's eye for the everyday detail and storytelling.
'One Night Stand' is a new track, a knock out melody filled with blithe observations about the girl in question, with "a face to die for but nothing going on inside". The bitterness of 'She's Got Standards' has gone, replaced with a bit of cheek: "now I am not being mean in fact I am being quite polite/ All I am trying to say is that you won't catch her on Mastermind".
'Home Town Blues' pounds with urban alienation - we're back in The Specials' 'Concrete Jungle' with it's run down avenues, drunken arguments and stalking street crime. Grant Marsh on drums and Rob Pyne on bass keep the track pounding aggressively through its three minutes.
'Peace & Quiet' is a Rifles anthem - hard to get out of your head once you've heard the massive chorus. When the band independently pressed up 1000 copies of the single, before they were signed, they sold out on pre-orders before the day of release.
Acoustic track 'Spend A Lifetime' is a track not often aired in their unruly live show. An acoustic love song with a soft centre sees the band showing another side.
'Robin Hood' lifts the tone with its closing time stomp- so titled after Soccer AM's host Tim Lovejoy's nickname for felt-hatted guitarist Luke Crowther.
'She's The Only One' is the sweet sound of Motown with a Merseyside lilt. Broudie's influence on the production comes to the fore here with it's skanking tremolo guitar, tambourines and sunshine backing vocals - "I lose myself when she's away/don't sleep at night and sit about all day".
'Repeated Offender' follows - a finger-snappingly infectious tune and a droll lyrical knock-back to the drunk and disorderly. The band's second single on Red Ink in March 2006, in the mainstream charts it leapt up ten places from their first single to sit at #26.
'When I am Alone' is flourished with guitarist Luke Crowther's lightening fretwork. 'It's a heart-renching love song that drives along at The Rifles trademark city tempo. "Everytime when I catch your eye in the street lights/ late at night when I walk you home I hate to think that you're not mine".
Album closer 'Narrow Minded Social Club' opens to the sound of sirens. It's an eulogy to the violence at the centre of our cities.
The Rifles are a people's band that talk about life in their fans language. They are doing what great guitar Brit-pop has always done: looked around and written down hopes, loves, frustrations and disenchantment's to flawless songs. Wry, sometimes dark perceptions wrapped up in bright, shimmering melodies. With no filler, no fat and 11 slices of sharp, hook-laden London life, The Rifles debut album hits the mark.
Catch The Rifles Live:
Sat 08/07/2006 T in the Park King Tuts Tent Scotland
Sun 09/07/2006 Oxegen The Green Room Dublin Ireland
Wed 12/072006 Brighton The Engine Rooms
Thurs 13/07/2006 Liverpool Academy
Fri 14/07/2006 Tiscali Showcase
Sat 15/07/2006 Coventry Coliseum
Mon 17/07/2006 Northampton Soundhaus
Tues 18/07/2006 Nottingham The Social
Wed 19/07/2006 Cambridge Soul Tree
Thurs 20/07/2006 London Garage
Fri 21/07/2006 Leeds Cockpit
Sun 23/07/2006 Birmingham Academy
Sat 29/07/2006 Tokyo, Japan Fuji Rock Red Marquee Stage
Mon 31/07/2006 Tokyo, Japan Liquid Room w / Mystery Jets and Fields
Sat 05/08/2006 Haldern Pop Festival West Germany
Sat 19/08/2006 V Festival Staffordshire C4 stage
Sun 20/08/2006 V Festival Chelmsford C4 stage
Released: Monday 17th July 2006
Label: Red Ink/ Right Hook Recordings
Official Site -
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