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It’s been over seven years since The Rifles released their previous record, but now the east Londoners are set to return with their new album Love Your Neighbour on April 26. Their previous two albums - ‘Big Life’ and ‘None The Wiser’ - achieved the highest chart positions of their career to date, while their cult-like popularity has continued in the intervening years with countless sold-out London shows at venues including the Roundhouse, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, O2 Kentish Forum, KOKO, Electric Ballroom and Electric Brixton. The triumphant reaction and electrifying energy of those shows inspired The Rifles as they sent about writing Love Your Neighbour. It’s a record which bursts with the traits that have inspired such devotion amongst fans: songs as gritty as they are anthemic, and full of lyrics which capture broadly relatable experiences and provide evocative snapshots of modern British life. The overriding message of the album is a plea to embrace the power of your local community. Vocalist/guitarist Joel Stoker says, “‘Love Your Neighbour is saying we’re all in this big old mess together and it would be good to get along a bit more and enjoy it. Talk to people more, help each other out when you can, say good morning and maybe take your head away from your phone for 5 minutes and appreciate the people standing next to you. I’d like to think that the record captures life's daily situations that we all come across, all wrapped up in 3 minute bundles that you can sing along to.” That’s an apt decision of the album’s lead single ‘The Kids Won’t Stop’. It starts with Joel reflecting on how life inevitably changes from the first flush of youth and into the demands of adulthood. But then it races into the frenetic melodic rush of its chorus, which contrasts an array of life’s daily annoyances with the kind of soaring, escapist hook which transports you to an altogether more positive state of mind. Joel adds, “‘The Kids Won’t Stop’ sums up most of our lives at the moment: constantly busy, no time to breathe... but you have to keep going! It still has the high energy Rifles sound, but with a more representative subject matter to our lives at the moment. It is also a good indication of the sound for the album.” Completed by Lucas Crowther (guitar), Rob Pyne (bass), Grant Marsh (drums) and Deano Mumford (keys), The Rifles have nonetheless had plenty going on since since releasing ‘Big Life’ in 2016: regular headline shows and festivals, Joel’s acclaimed debut solo album ‘The Undertow’, a singles collection, an acoustic album recorded at Abbey Road and a live album from London’s Roundhouse.
Released: April 2024 Cat: COOKLP908 Label: Cooking Vinyl