The National Rifle: Vanity Press

The National Rifle: Vanity Press
Whenever I go to Philadelphia, I stay in Havertown, PA. It is a little bit of a commute into the heart of Philly but it is worth it with the reduced hotel prices. But the years of experiencing Havertown never prompted me to think “this seems like a place a decent indie rock band could come out of” but indeed it is the home base of The National Rifle. On their third release, Vanity Press, The National Rifle attempt to put Havertown on the map as something more than the home of the nearest Sonic Drive-In to Philadelphia.
The album’s opening track “In The Weeds” is probably my favorite. The song opens up with an R.E.M. “Auctioneer (Another Engine)” style drum beat but Peter Buck’s arpeggios are replaced with lead singer and guitarist, Hugh’s extended power chords and snotty vocals. As the track evolves the drums become more disjointed and pulsating piano chords are added all making the song sound like at any second it will come apart at the seems and degrade into an unlistenable mess. But that disequilibrium is fun and the National Rifle somehow hold the song together just over four minutes.
The entirety of Vanity Press seems to fiddle around with this concept of disequilibrium. It almost reminds me of Pavement with a little more of a 90s alternative edge to it. At just five songs in length, it is hard to know if the National Rifle could be this captivating for a full length release but they certainly managed to hold my attention for the 20 minutes of Vanity Press.
Rating: 9.0/10
MP3: The National Rifle “In the Weeds”
Buy: iTunes