White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again – Album Review

white reaper does it again review

Out 17th July Via Polyvinyl Records

Our fearless editor-in-chief may claim to like nuance, and while I agree with him, sometimes there’s nothing quite like the delightful blunt-force trauma of simple rock to propel you into the crimson blur of a mosh pit. White Reaper knows that fact all too well. Heavily saturated on the low end, rife with pop, pop-pop tambourine-on-snare hits, growling with guitar, and brightened with a sprinkling of keyboard, these guys harbor few illusions about rock ‘n roll. Unadorned with any artifice, these four lads from Louisville, Kentucky kick the doors down and invade your earholes with a torrent of fuzzy flare.

There may be an element of nostalgia here. There’s something suggestive of the punk I listened to as a youth; that same Ramones-ey “fuck it, let’s make a band” mentality clearly in evidence. I’m probably too old for this stuff now, but I do enjoy turning my stereo up to a responsibly loud volume and reliving my glory days. White Reaper Does It Again manages to engage with that tried and true formula while injecting enough of their own youthful exuberance to keep things interesting.

Don’t expect to hear anything challenging on this album, but don’t be surprised if you have a good time. The album kicks off with the kinetic “Make Me Wanna Die” and the comparably amplified “I Don’t Think She Cares,” both of which should be enjoyed whilst driving at high speed with friends or in a crowded dive bar. They even make an unsubtle reference to their relation to the Ramones, though they extend it from Dee Dee’s cry of “1-2-3-4,” to “1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.”They don’t quite blow their wad there, but they do slow down to catch their breath. With the exception of “Last Fourth of July,” the next five songs diminish in their dynamism somewhat. Similarly date-themed “Friday the Thirteenth” is heavier on the synths, providing enough contrast to keep you from turning the dial.The band does manage to get its second wind on the B-side, laying into a fusillade chords and a solo that suppurates like a blister on “Wolf Trap Hotel.”

If you like Ty Seagall or Jay Reatard, you’ll find this album to be a worthy torchbearer of the neo-garage tradition. Lots of choruses will involve shouting a girl’s name, and the fills won’t extend much beyond a quick hop between snare and the high tom, but this album is pretty fun. I freely admit that I’m unlikely to purchase this album, but I’ll definitely see White Reaper if they come within striking distance of my home address. If I go, I’ll be sure to rummage through my closet for a Screeching Weasel shirt that, were it a person, would be old enough to vote. It’d be fitting tribute to the spirit of White Reaper, even if it wasn’t fitting me anymore.

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Ryan Hickey is a self-loathing narcissist who resides in Brooklyn. He likes gin, reverb, redheaded girls with glasses, and witty banter.