The Rifles have returned with their long awaited third album, Freedom Run. It sees them transform the spiky early Jam-influenced sounds of their previous two albums, to a much richer, fuller and more varied sound.
While there is still a nod to mod and ’60s sound, their rough and ready street-wise attitude has been traded for sweeping, soft-centred indie. The album boasts a smart collection of overwhelmingly uplifting, positive and catchy songs full of bright harmonies and even brighter guitars.
This newly smoothed out production style and luscious sound is brought to life with ‘Sweetest Thing’, ‘Tangled Up In Love’ and ‘Coming Home’, three sumptuous slices of indie. It would be difficult task to seek out a more captivating song in 2011 than country tinged ‘Love Is The Key’. This is an album smothered in the ’60s influences with elements of The Kinks, Bob Dylan and John Lennon being found throughout, but, most obviously on ‘Eveline’, ‘Nothing Matters’ and ’Falling’.
The rejigged line-up appears to have done them no harm at all. If their debut No Love Lost was rough and ready, Great Escape more polished, well then Freedom Run sees them embracing their sweet, shimmering indie-selves in full. A life changing masterpiece it is certainly is not, but, give it half a chance and it’s sheer sweetness will seduce you.