Where else in America could the National Rifle hail from other than Philadelphia, home of Rocky Balboa, the Continental Congress, and the Broad Street Bullies? Their curt brand of power-punk sweats like a plucky boxer, snarls like a veteran defenseman with a broken nose, and swills beer with Ben Franklin’s philosophic certainty. All of this is on display on the National Rifle’s self-released EP Wage Life, as well as a hearty helping or two of Clash-style branching-out. Frantic keys shriek through out a solo in “Gay Rock n’ Roll”, “Crustache” begins with goose-stepping synths, and infectious highlight “Girls at the Clinic” has wacky three-part harmonies colliding with even wackier horn bleats. The National Rifle evades pigeonholing with bratty dexterity. “Now you’re a bitch to your pension plan”, the poor rubes at home are told, but these guys are nobody’s bitch.
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// Notes from the Road
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