White Rose Movement

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Taking their cue from dance-driven '80s bands like Depeche Mode and Duran Duran, London's White Rose Movement apes the best aspects of their predecessors, reveling in edgy dance-punk riffs and swaggering vocals laced with gyrating synth beats. Unlike their peers in Franz Ferdinand, the Rakes, and Bloc Party, however, White Rose Movement's debut never really found ground in the States despite its arguably better quality of songs. U.K. singles "Girls in the Back," a sharp, speedy number with a hooky chorus, and "Love Is a Number," a layered, synth-based track with echoing vocals, is immediately memorable, reverberating with more attitude than all the previously mentioned bands put together. "Cruella" is the album's real standout, buried at the end of the disc, and led by an aggressive, propulsive beat and singer Finn Vine's strutting hoot as he hollers about the notorious 101 Dalmatians villain. It's regrettable that no U.S. labels picked up on White Rose Movement before they were lost in the shuffle of British '80s revival bands, particularly after they played several festivals in the States supporting this album, but with any luck their next release won't suffer the same fate.

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