Rifleman is the new solo project from Superheist songwriter founder and guitarist, Richie “dw” Norton and breath of fresh air for fans of the heavy rock icon. With almost 30 years of ripping up the Aussie heavy rock scene this first solo effort is long overdue. But Rifleman leave nothing to be desired with lead single KEEP THE STORY ALIVE. Hitting the ground running with signature guitar riffage and an unstoppable drive that doesn’t quit. Melodic rock anthem is but one way to describe it. Four and a half minutes of hook laden pop carnage is probably another, but we’ll leave the fans to argue over semantics.
KEEP THE STORY ALIVE is but a taste of Rifleman’s debut album SILVER & GOLD. The 16 track album covers a wide breadth of moods and movements which will keep any rock fan listening to the end.
KEEP THE STORY ALIVE blows the doors down first on the album but is followed up with an introspective slow burner ZOMBIES WITH VITAL SIGNS. A sign that things are not going to be cut n dry rock album. And in fact though 16 tracks may scare some people the strength of the album is it’s varied colours. 16 songs doesn’t feel bloated at all as we weave through a myriad of emotional turns.
Times of firsts in the air, sing along, rockage include THE LAST LOVE SONG and a surprise cover of INXS’s DON’T CHANGE, giving your air guitar a workout. SHEPHERDS is an incredible blistering song spewing political frustration with lyrics “We’ve got to overthrow!”. But between these we have moments making you lean in and listen rather than knock you back in your seat. OCTOBER SUN, FLESH AND BONE and album ender BURN all take a step back and ask you to take a moment and listen. It’s a welcome addition that highlights the brilliant songwriting prowess of dw. Giving the album room to breath means the light and shade are more pronounced giving much more gravitas and attention to the songs. It wouldn’t be a dw album if it weren’t for the anthemic masterpieces though and SILVER AND GOLD dishes them out in spades. SATELLITE, title track SILVER AND GOLD and THOSE SOUTHERN LIGHTS take on a life of their own. Like mini albums they run the gamut of emotions and take you on a journey.
Another moment of pure anthemic joy is THE SEVEN SUMMITS featuring vocals by London Gabraelle. A brilliant duet of sorts the contrasting voices highlight the beauty in the song and rip your stomach out all at the same time.
It seems like dw had been stockpiling these great tracks and couldn’t wait to get them all out at once, but this is a very carefully curated and thought out album worthy of multiple listens start to finish. The rewards keep coming the more you listen.
dw’s rock credentials are well assured. Having released over half a dozen albums with his bands over his career and enjoying chart success with 6 top 40 singles and 3 top 20 albums. A dual ARIA nominated producer and engineer dw has produced some of Australia’s best heavy and hardcore bands including Alchemist, Toe To Toe, Mindsnare, Superheist, Day Of Contempt and many more and shared the stage with some of the world’s biggest names in rock, including Eminem, Garbage, System Of A Down, Fear Factory, and Sepultura.
‘KEEP THE STORY ALIVE’ TOUR
Friday 10 November – The Penny Black – Melbourne
Friday 24 November – The Chippo Hotel – Sydney
Saturday 9 December – Prince of Wales – Melbourne **Support to FUEL**
Friday 15 December – Enigma Bar – Adelaide
Saturday 23 December – Corner Hotel – Melbourne **Support to MAMMAL**
‘Silver and Gold’ will be released by Dinner for Wolves Friday October 27th