The National Rifle

Man Full Of Trouble EP

Written by: PP on 29/09/2009 20:17:11

About a year and a half ago Philadelphia, US based The National Rifle positively surprised me with their interesting combination of bits and pieces from the well recognized sounds of indie flavored garage rock superstars The Strokes, The White Stripes, and The Hives that still separated the band from the thousands of clone bands out there trying to write the next "12:51" mega hit. "Wage Life" EP had enough rock'n'roll groove and rebellious sound to stick to my mind as one of the bands you'd have no problem labeling as 'fresh and original', consequently resulting in a warm feeling when their new EP "Man Full Of Trouble" landed in my mailbox. At first, I wasn't sure if the band was quite able to match their easily accessible, fun-oriented previous EP, but about a dozen listens in, I'm relieved after having arrived at the conclusion of yes they do, and then some.

One of the differences that you should notice immediately is the subtle but logical evolution the band has taken since "Wage Life" EP. If you could've considered the band a funky indie/garage rock band back then, they're now more of a rowdy, quirky, fuzzy alternative pop/rock band with much fewer The Strokes/The Hives influences audible than before. "Bad News From The District", for instance, is a rowdy pop rock track which occasionally sounds like Mike Skinner of The Streets is contributing on the vocals, whereas "Love Crack" has an unexpected amount of Bear Vs Shark inspiration, before a fuckin' crazy saxophone solo with some tribal background drumming takes over for about a minute halfway in the song. Both tracks are very different to what I'm used to hearing from these guys, which is a motif recurring on "I Think I Have A Tumour" which feels like it came straight out of The Blues Brothers soundtracks thanks to the jazzy saxophone/keyboard combination.

Then you have the jamtastic "Big Units", which is more like an extensive jam session than an actual song, but it's so chilled out and relaxed that I'm definitely liking it. Like many other aspects of this EP, it doesn't make any sense on paper (just look at the for the fans of section below) but that's the beauty of The National Rifle. They're able to mix incredibly strange elements together and still have songs that are both catchy and impress the listener. I know I've said this before about The National Rifle, but there are some great things in store for this band. Now they just need people to notice them so that the snowball can start rolling.

Download: Love Crack, Big Units
For the fans of: The Strokes, Bear Vs Shark, The Blues Brothers movie, early The Streets
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.05.2009

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