Philadelphia power-punks evade pigeonholing with bratty dexterity.
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.