The Rifles – ‘None The Wiser’

Spiky, straightforward and defiantly unfashionable guitar-pop

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

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