White Reaper (affectionately known as “Tony and the Twins”) released their debut EP via Polyvinyl Records last month, and it’s landed with more bite than most. The trio mix indie/pop-punk with a splash of psychedelic rock to create a sound akin to few but true to themselves.
EP opener, Cool, hints at You Me At Six influences for a few seconds before plunging into the sound that settles for the rest of the record – electric and grunge, epic riffs coated with crowd-gathering repeated lyrics and intense percussion providing a building block for the other five tracks to work off. Vocals that sound not too dissimilar from Emily’s Army provide the pop-punk of the records, with the short but sweet “oooh, she’s so cool” chorus being somewhat contagious. Funn proves to be just as exciting, with the one minute forty-one blast of catchy lyrics and stunted guitars becoming an instant favourite, and proving their confidence in their ability to experiment with their sound.
The Louisville trio explode with third track, Half Bad, with pacier drumming creating a new slant to the previous tracks, and guitar to suit a manic strobe lighting show. This track proclaims how tight the band are and is a friendly reminder that these guys aren’t simply three blokes messing about with instruments – they already know their sound, from the off. She Wants To provides another minute and a half of light, loud relief before tackling the two most developed tracks on the record.
No build up is provided to Conspirator, and the band drop you straight in the deep end with a compelling bass line and angry vocals backed by drums that add an extra punch to the record. The track swerves dangerously close to a breakdown before the ferocity is revived – although bordering on samey, you can’t criticise when it’s this damn addictive. Ohh (Yeah), final track off the release, looks to become a more ska-punk track with moments that provide a break from the loud percussion with blocked lyrics and keys that add a new edge to the record.
For a record, this is tight, powerful and true punk, but for a debut record, this is fantastic and impressive.