The Rifles – Love Your Neighbour

Indie mainstays carry a vivacious energy...

The Rifles have had a steady presence on the UK indie scene for 20 years, their 2006 debut ‘No Love Lost’ proving them as ones to watch. The Essex band returns with their sixth album, ‘Love Your Neighbour’, their first in eight years. It marks a slight shift in direction but fans will find plenty to admire in their return to the scene. 

‘The Kids Won’t Stop’ is a strong opener with a post-punk / new wave vibe to it, reminiscent of acts like The Jam or The Clash. Far from simply being derivative though it has a sense of unbridled fun and energy to it a perfect way to kick things off. 

‘Days Of Our Lives’ finds the group in a reflective mood, contemplating past years. It has a shimmery opening that feels fitting for the summer months. Joel Stocker sounding eerily like Suggs from Madness. 

‘Mr Sunflower’ retains a lighter mood with a melodic, soft edge to it. It keeps the sense of fun that’s found across the record. There is warmth and positivity as they talk about loving your neighbour and bringing a smile. 

‘There Is My Heart’ is more of a light-hearted pop track, harmony-driven, showing a slightly different side to the band from their indie roots. While pleasant on the ear it does feel a tad repetitive, but it shows the band’s desire to shift out of their comfort zone slightly. 

‘Out For The Weekend’ could be lifted straight from the 00s indie scene with a jolt of energy lyrics about nights out and the freedom of weekends. There is a feel of The Libertines and other bands from the time, so this is surely one fans will lap up. 

‘Fall Apart’ cleverly shifts the mood, with a slower, more contemplative feel to it built around Stocker’s vocals, showing they can handle indie bangers and slower ballads. As with some other tracks, there is a melancholic feel to it as they look back on lost relationships and memories. 

‘All Aboard’ is another upbeat track full of witty lyricism and easy to picture as a live favourite. ‘Money Go Round’ carries on in this vein with a more propulsive energy and urgency built around its opening riff.

‘Love Your Neighbour’ is a winning return for The Rifles finding them in surprisingly reflective form. There is a sense of earnestness about it charting their evolution over the past two decades. Fans will find plenty to admire in some of its throwback moments while it also shows plenty of signs of promise moving forward with the new tracks sure to go down a storm in their live shows. 


Words: Christopher Connor

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