Hard-working Philly rock foursome The National Rifle is poised to make a bold jump into the long-player realm, finally. The four EPs it’s released in the past five years are a blend of studied musical nerditry, lyrical suburban malaise, snotty punk attitude, and house-party charisma. Last summer’s Vanity Press was the strongest showing to date of TNR’s skill and style, but it’s about time to put those things on a bigger platform. The band agrees; last month, it visited XPN for some mischief (its “TNRMotherfucker” tag on our studio wall was quickly covered up) and a Key Studio Session where two untitled new numbers were tested out. “Number Two” rocks a dense wall of synthesizer bass, “The Third” is singer/guitarist Hugh Moretta’s first stab at falsetto vocals. Both are intended for the debut full-length planned for a fall release, and I’m stoked to hear how the songs develop between now and then (and what they end up being called). Moretta says the Rifle is heading into sequestered, hibernation mode this summer to write and record; its last Philly blowout before doing so is next Friday, May 27, at Johnny Brenda’s, opening for The New Connection’s record release show (which we’ll tell you more about next week).
Johnny Brenda's, The Key Studio Sessions, The National Rifle