The Rifles return after a couple of years out and with their third studio album 'Freedom Run'; since their debut they have proven themselves to be consistent with their guitar pop output. The Rifles have obviously been busy and with the departure of two members the band has had to find new recruits. The album kicks off in spectacular style with 'Dreamer' a thunderous drum beat and as soon as Joel Stoker starts singing and the guitars kick in you sense that all is ok and the change in personal is for the better and will help The Rifles progress on. Unfortunately that is short lived as 'Long Walk Back' just passes you by like that annoyance that you knew you had to do something but can't remember what it was.
'Sweetest Thing' flies in instantly with guitar riffs and feedback and this is the point where you know that 'Freedom Run' is going to be a roller coaster ride with highs and lows. Sadly the next high isn't until the sixth track with 'Love Is A Key' which is a kind of modern Indie Pop meets sixties Rock n Roll with a bit of piano put in their for a bit more variety. This track shows what The Rifles can produce as the sort of new unit which they are.
On this rollercoaster ride The Rifles continue their ascendance ironically with 'Falling' a bit more melodic and mellow but there is just something great about this, the build up, the constant drummers and not forgetting the glorious vocals.
'Interlude' is like something you would expect halfway through a live show, a bit of a jamming session of the band while the singer goes and lubricates his vocal chords. A bit strange but somehow 'Interlude' seems to fit in with the album perfectly.
The Brit pop meets The Beatles sound also keeps popping its head up from time to time in the shape of 'Nothing Matters' and 'Coming Home' and although this sound seems to suit The Rifles they seem to sound like they are missing something. This could be just that the band are still finding each other's quirks and ways of working.
The Rifles are certainly progressing at a somewhat stuttered pace with the in goings and out goings of the band members but you do wonder if their time is running out? They have a loyal following but it is time for the band to step up and smash out a quality record rather than a good record.