White Reaper

White Reaper Does It Again

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The guys in White Reaper don't fool around. They blast through the 11 songs on their debut album White Reaper Does It Again like they're late for the next gig, bashing and crashing happily with big dumb smiles on their faces. The same big old smiles those lucky enough to add the album to their libraries will have plastered on their mugs too. And really, if you love punky bubblegum or bubblegummy punk, you should own the record, no excuses. Or if you like Jay Reatard or Ty Segall or any of their ilk. Basically, if you want your rock & roll served up hot and loose with giant hooks, lighthearted swagger, and just the right amount of noisy clatter, this is the album for you. Since their excellent self-titled EP in 2014, White Reaper added a keyboardist, Ryan Hater, and his organ adds some new dimension to their sound, but really the thrill here is the rip-roaring guitar-bass-drums full-on attack and Tony Esposito's throat-shreddingly expressive vocals. He shouts, hollers, and croons like a hopped-up version of a '50s rockabilly cat with just the right amount of punk snarl. He and the band not only sound right on the up-uptempo rockers that make up the bulk of the record, they nail the slower songs too. Tracks like the tightly wound, slowly creeping "Pills" and chunkily melodic "Sheila" show some nice balance and provide some quick breathers between the paint-peeling rockers. Even the jacked-up tracks bring some nice diversity and some clear highlights, like the jaunty "Candy" that bops along like a lost Exploding Hearts song, the careening "Last 4th of July" that blasts like a stray firework and, well, everything else. It's all a highlight with White Reaper and their album is all thriller, zero filler. It's guaranteed to hit you right in the right spot, getting your feet moving and your head gleefully bobbing along like mad. More than almost any other rock & roll band in 2015, these guys truly get what it's all about and they aren't shy about sharing it as loudly and ecstatically as possible.

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