Many consider a career in the music business to be an escape from wage life. Apparently, the members of The National Rifle do not.
On their debut EP Wage Life, The National Rifle string together songs of shoddily written and barely melodic verses, uninspired hooks and predictable choruses. Though it feels as though the band is really trying to seriously rock out, their songs at this point are too blatantly constructed. Each verse feels like a quick choice of chords for the singer (sounding like Joe Strummer sans personality) to slur bland lyrics over before the â€œbig chorusâ€ part, where everything gets louder (rar!).
The bandâ€™s attempt to change the musical texture of the song in each verse (for instance using xylophone for the first verse, horns the next time around and so on) is interesting but the novelty is used so obviously and ends up feeling tacky.
Though Iâ€™m not informed as to the songwriting method of The National Rifle, their songs remind me of bands trying to write collectively and ending up with impersonal and over-thought compositions. First the guitarist comes up with a riff, then the band jams on that for a bit, the lyricist writes a couple lines about some hot topic and then they put it all together. Yay, weâ€™re a rock band and everyoneâ€™s happy. Except for the listener. Now letâ€™s pump out the next four so we can sell this thing, tour the world, get blonde girlfriends and live the good life. Apologies to The National Rifle, but there are still some of us left who donâ€™t believe that rock and roll should be considered wage life yet.
Wage Life is available now.
01. Baby Stole My Gun
03. Girls at the Clinic
05. Gay Rock â€˜N Roll
06. Kickinâ€™ Dogs
07. Tina (Live)
The National Rifle: myspace
Written By Marc Z. Grub