New York Rifles, from Portland, OR, is the impudent progeny of guitarist/lead singer Scott Young, joined in musical ranks by Nate James (drums), and Jamie Gould (bass). Amidst Young’s lyrics of social transgressions and private loss is a driving, slop-pop-rock guitar, flanked by backing vocals and coerced into cohesion by an ebb and flowrhythm section. New York Rifles sounds like: The Stranglers of The Soft Boys, riding in The Cars, wearing X-Ray Spex, listening for The Undertones,and upsetting The Saints for touching The Buzzcocks, while high on X. Oh Yeah, also, they rock.
"What do you get when you mix a writer that has been lacking inspiration, a rainy night in downtown, a shout out to Jesus Christ and a 50 minute set that just grabs a hold of you that you cannot stop yourself from smiling? You get the New York Rifles banging me out my creative malaise and me just thinking, amen, was that sweet! This Portland band, the New York Rifles, shows up to our beloved and sunny LA, brings the rain with them to LA and took a part of my soul after their power set at Bordello the other night. And I am so glad they did. The New York Rifles bring unbelievable energy and pulsating-make-you-smile-music for what seemed to me to be one of the best sets of any band I have seen in quite a while..."
- Loudvine (Apr 09, 2009)
"Young Guns-They're packaged as East Coast, but New York Rifles are Northwestern to the core. The New York Rifles are not from New York. In fact, the band is uniquely Northwest — with ties to Spokane. But even a cursory listen confirms that they would indeed have been at home on the stage of CBGB’s alongside bands like Television, the Ramones and Blondie. New York Rifles wear many of those old East Coast influences on their tattered sleeves. The music, however, is not bogged down in imitation of the punk days of yore: There is some real originality and substance that comes through in the band’s energetic mixture of punk, psych and proto-disco. For bassist Jamie Gould, bringing that music to Spokane is a homecoming. He is from Spokane and he loves performing for his hometown crowd. “I’m really excited,” Gould says. “Venues come and go — like our old B Side — but I was blown away by the amazing response I received from all of the great venues in Spokane that"
- Jon Brown, Spokane Inlander (Mar 09, 2011)
"When Portland-based band leader Scott Young was stumped trying to name his new garage rock project, Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor suggested "New York Rifles," and it stuck. While there are no obvious conceptual links to the Big Apple or firearms, it is clear that Young makes a glorious racket that takes him out of the garage and towards a broader sound that encompasses Undertones-era punk, classic rock, hook-riddled pop, and just a smidge of twang. The band’s recently-released sophomore effort, Make a Wish (In Music We Trust), builds on the strength’s of their 2007 debut, providing the possible soundtrack for a Dirtbombs housewarming party."
- Hannah Levin, Seattle Weekly (Dec 19, 2009)
"[SHOTGUN EXPRESS] Exploding Hearts is long gone, but the band's spirit continues to haunt clubs throughout Portland. New York Rifles aren’t fully indebted to the Hearts’ beloved power punk—there are liberal amounts of gutter-glam sleaze and strutting hard rock in the band’s sound as well—but there is more than a passing resemblance in the group’s commitment to loose-limbed catchiness. Singer Scott Young has a voice that’s alternately snarling and seductive, exuberant and accusatory, and the band can shift from barreling, bar-room rock ’n’ roll to psych-spiked slow jams without losing sight of what matters most: the great pop hook. "
- Matthew Singer, Willamette Week (Mar 05, 2011)
"There's a certain dichotomy in Portland's tender punk group, New York Rifles. Quivering lead vocalist Scott Young spills his guts song in and song out, his unravelings mended by the soft lyrical touch of Kari Schafer. As in most battles, this one pits good versus evil, sharp against smooth. And on Make A Wish, opposites walk hand in hand, harmonically. Young and guitar duke it out, each trying to outdo the other. And like the fairest of boxing matches, the two fight on equal ground, each given ample space for clean punches. Sean Moultrie's crashing drums serve as the bell, ending any musical skirmish before things escalate to the point of no return... "
- Mark Stock, Portland Music Examiner (Mar 10, 2009)
" New York Rifles were really damn good. Wasn't expecting'em to be that good. Tight, solid, straight ahead rock'n'roll with vocal stylings slightly reminiscient of Geddy Lee. Scott is one guy who won't have any need in the future to lose weight either. I hadn't been to the Tiger Bar in like 50 years. It wasn't too busy, but the bartenders were cooler than I had remembered them. The last time I was there, I can't say I was impressed, but this time was pretty cool. "
- Kyle Ritter, BarFlyMag (Oct 13, 2005)
"Portland's New York Rifles are somewhat quietly making a name for themselves in the Northwest. It's not that they are a quiet band by any means, but they don't seem to push an image or work the larger club promoters and delve much into the biz side of things. Every time I've seen them it's been at Seattle punk bars like Funhouse and The Monkey Pub. The thing is, they aren't really a punk band, their the kind of band that I'm surprised The Stranger, KEXP and ThreeImaginaryGirls aren't all over... maybe they just aren't hipster enough (something I'd consider a good thing of course). But I digress, what you need to know is they fucking rock. They play attitude-free power pop with occasional '70s rock and synth punk influences. Empty Records US, who put out their debut album "Faraway Faster", describes them as "The Stranglers of The Soft Boys, riding in The Cars, wearing X-Ray Spex, listening for The Undertones,and upsetting The Saints for touching The Buzzcocks, while high on X." "
- Dan10things, 10 Things Zine (Dec 28, 2007)
"Thursday, February 12, 2009 New York Rifles- I Know a Girl She's gone. Not everyone can be Jack White. Even the most skeptical onlookers are forced to concede that the man is well on his way to rock'n'roll immortality. He's so talented that like-minded artists often pale in comparison. New York Rifles are a very fine garage-punk band. The Portland-based act (go figure) have a refreshingly trashy aesthetic accented by a vocalist who sounds disarmingly like Jello Biafra. "I Know a Girl" is from their forthcoming Make a Wish album. It may not be White Blood Cells, but it's plenty good enough for me."
- Happy In Bag, There Stands the Glass (Feb 12, 2009)
"The New York Rifles (who actually hail from Portland, Oregon) live up to Alice Cooper's immortal credo: "Molotov milk bottles/thrown from pink highchairs." Everything from Pogue-y singalongs to Shirts/Joan Jett/Josie Cotton-style dancing-on-your-toes new-wave hokum to Biafra-esque suburban paranoia from these pre-ejaculatory mushes. Puts the bats back in the hands of brats once n' for all."
- JSH, Kapital Ink magazine (Jan 02, 2007)
"Bands like the New York Rifles are something of a rarity (these days) in the Portland rock circuit--a modestly arranged, irony-free guitar band willing to vault punk-smart bar rock into the stratum of high drama. Though at times the band's sound can be a bit jarring (as captured on their debut CD, Faraway Faster, released on local imprint Empty Records US earlier this year), it by no means makes this show an easy pass. The spark and subsequent flames of desire burning through this band's variable guitar rock promise one powerhouse of a live show."
- Sam Soule, Willamette Weekly (Jan 02, 2007)
"The New York Rifles just released their kick-ass second album, Make A Wish. It’s packed with snarling garage rock that’s catchy, fun and even better live. Shortly after seeing them play the Doug Fir, I was able to ask founder and front man, Scott Young, a couple questions via email. Jesse Gelwicks, PopWreckoning: How did the band come together?..."
- Jesse Gelwicks, popwreckoning (Apr 30, 2009)
"Portland's New York Rifles recently released its first album, "Faraway Faster." Mixing a bit of Richard Hell punk with some of new wave's energetic elements, the band brings to mind the rare upbeat moments from Modern English"
- The Oregonian (Jan 02, 2007)
"Its easy to picture yourself at fifteen, listening to Portlands New York Rifles. Tangerine Nails has the slow kind of buildup-to-blast immortalized by drivers permits and wind in the hair. Everything is catchy and sugary enough to stick, and most is edgy enough to stay, even when harmonies fizzle and lyrics plop (Aint got no mirror / cant see the pain). Highlights include the tongue-twisting Redlight Suppertime and Grapes, which begins like the Poison Girls on Ritalin. Slow moments are saved, if uncreatively, by bass both sawed and picked. But if you still shiver, why complain?"
- MC, Punk Planet magazine (Jan 02, 2007)
"Young Voidoids Had the Undertones stopped singing about girls and added one to the lineup, the punk icons might have sounded a bit more like the New York Rifles. As Kari Schafer and Scott Young support each other with vocal harmonies, the Portland band moves intently between blasts of new wave synth-rock and all-out punk energy, even as their lead guitars saw themselves free from the speakers. Performing material from "Faraway Faster,"
- NATHAN SKIDMORE, The Oregonian (Jan 02, 2007)
"Jesus, we are getting fucking soft. To counter, heres something sly and fun and best played loud in a fast moving car: The New York Rifles are a foursome from Portland who sound vaguely like the Talking Heads. Not the way the Arcade Fire sounds like the Talking Heads, but the way all sloppy young punk bands should sound like the Talking Heads."
- Justin , Booze Is My Momma (Jan 02, 2007)
"With a name like New York Rifles, it'd be easy to peg this band as more Dead Boysstyle scum floating up from the gutter. But such a quick assessment belies the kinks and quirks layered into this Portland act's topsy-turvy ride. There's no easily distilled spirit of '77 here, as they instead fly between X's L.A. barnyard grit, garagey new wave, and the slight hint of a disco shuffle. With so many styles to pick from on their Faraway Faster disc, it can be difficult to remember if you're listening to the same band from song to song, but those seeking a band with sprawling styles and influences may find a home in the sonic schizophrenia of New York Rifles."
- JENNIFER MAERZ , The Stranger Magazine (Jan 02, 2007)
".... According to information the members have no significant past in other bands, but this fine record collections, which cover sufficiently in any case, the late seventies and early eighties - and a somewhat strange fashion sense, because what is there to see in Tiger faux fur and frills, is quite pretty wild. Idiosyncratic vocals, strong and rough, but strangely high, while the lady sings in the band, only the backing vocals. ...Time is here paid homage to the classic power pop, the CARS looking around the corner, then back to the British Wave (again I am reminded of Hazel O'Connor) as well as classic UK pop-punk has left its mark. An unconventional band with an unconventional debut, which does not fit into the usual waiting drawers, but that such release is one of Empty U.S. indeed usual. For a large part of the songs the way, Johnny Sangster had as a producer in the Finger game.."
- Joachim Hiller, OX-FANZINE (Jan 02, 2007)
"Put on this record - the first thing that pops into your mind when you listen to the Tangerine Nails intro? Mine was - The Pretty Things, and boy was I wrong. You think your going to listen to some slow and steady Birds revival music, and then all of a sudden - wham! You jump 10 feet out of your armchair. Once you settle down, you realize, that this is no Birds or Pretty Things retake, this is modern psych- whatever, and they have the noise to show for it! Delightfully simple lyrics, no big social criticism, only songs about wrong tennis shoes and what have you not. You think you have them pinned, and then "Letters" comes up - fooling you. You think you've accidently clicked the CD switcher and are now listening to a Peter Paul and Mary record - but it's still them. A band with heavy heavy influences in 60s psych and folk, but with an expression that's undoubtedly modern - and kicking. But the question remains, who the hell are they? if you dig: The Cure, Kaiser Chiefs.."
- Kristian, Low Cut Magazine (Jan 02, 2007)
"Recently its been getting pretty hard for me to get excited about new bands and releases because everything seems so boring these days but the NEW YORK RIFLES (from Portland, Oregon) really did blow me away...this is the jab I needed and thank God because I was getting pretty lethargic about everything. This smacks of young insurgence- its melodic, abrasive and its got all the magic of the early punk sounds that blew me away when I was a teenager...this is better than any skin cream, exercise or surgery- I instantly feel ten years younger!! This really rocks and I know that its easy to say that but in the true sense of the word this honestly ROCKS. Think the magnetism of X, abrasive B-52s, STRANGLERS, SLITS, THE UNDERTONES, early CURE, RAMONES, PRIMITIVES...all mixed up so that flashes of resemblances are audible but the concoction created is totally original...at times they are ultra-vague, at times full-blown rocking with male/female vocals...."
- MARCO, No Front Teeth Webzine (Jan 07, 2007)