After slapping A Mid-Stream of Consciousness into your CD player, the first impulse is to shout "Hosanna! The Celibate Rifles are back!" But of course, the Rifles never really went away, they just didn't make a record for about seven years, and out of the box A Mid-Stream of Consciousness makes it clear this band has lost nothing in the way of flash, fire, or smarts during their time away from the studio. If you're looking for lean and mean rock & roll, the Celibate Rifles have still got it in spades, as the swaggering "Storm," the fifth-gear rocker's tale of "The Paddo Sharps," the proto-punk "Wake Up," and the final full-bore rave-up of "Tripping at the Mall" prove beyond a doubt. But the Celibate Rifles are one band who can slow things down, shift stylistic gears, and still sound as if they're firmly in control; the moody piano-led remembrance of "G's Gone" and the gentle acoustic song of devotion "Child of Mine" are just as passionate and committed as the turn-the-amps-up-to-ten stuff, even as they express themselves in different ways. And unlike a lot of bands who've been around for close to 20 years, the Celibate Rifles sound fresh, fully engaged, and full of ideas; A Mid-Stream of Consciousness isn't the work of a veteran rock group proving they've still got what it takes, it's an album from a working band who are still working at the top of their game. Great stuff which richly rewards being played at high volume.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming