White Reaper - White Reaper Does It Again - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

White Reaper - White Reaper Does It Again

by Jim Cunnar Rating:9 Release Date:2015-07-17

How many different catergories of rock 'n' roll are there today? From psych-rock to post-punk to garage rock (to name a few), there are so many it seems like each band has it's own descriptor. Louisville, Kentucky's White Reaper decided to toss all of that out the window and roll old-school. Their debut, White Repaer Does It Again, released on the seriously underrated mid-major label Polyvinyl, is a hard-charging, straight-forward, warp-speed punk album, and it is gloriously fun.  

This four-piece, consisting of Tony Esposito (vocals/guitar), Ryan Hater (keyboards), and twin brothers Nick (drums) and Sam Wilkerson (bass), isn't reinventing the wheel on WRDIA. They're adding to the punk canon, providing a worthy addition to the likes of The Ramones, Green Day, and Jay Reatard.

Opener 'Make Me Wanna Die' jumps the gun, blasting out of the gate with driving drums and distorted power chords, and is followed nicely by 'I Don't Think She Cares'. Esposito's voice sounds so British that even after a number of listens, you can't believe they are from Louisville.  

'Last 4th of July' is an 81-second espresso shot of Ramones-infused crunch, followed by 'Alone Tonight', whose guitars are wonderfully reminiscent of 'Anarchy in the UK'. The highlight of the album is 'Sheila', one of the best songs I've heard this year. Verses are bass and drum heavy with Esposito's guitar blowing the doors off the chorus, as he puts his head back and belts out the song's namesake from the bottoms of his feet. 

The production on WRDIA is muddy and murky, exactly as it should be. It is reminiscent of the brilliant 2007 debut, Hats Off to the Buskers, by The View. The incorporation of Hater's synths, when combined with overdubbed harmonies, give the songs a throwback 60s vibe.  

Debut punk albums are supposed to have a slightly undercooked feel, and WRDIA has that perfect, slightly gooey and warm chocolate-chip cookie of a sound. There is no caution on this album. If there was, it was tossed out the window, probably during the photo shoot for the album's cover.

White Reaper Does It Again is perfectly titled - it just makes you wish you were there for the first time they did it.  

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