White Reaper

White Reaper

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The debut EP by the Kentucky trio White Reaper is a bracing blast of garage punk bubblegum that hits the sweet spot between grungy garage rock guitar noise and handclapping pop, and ends up sounding like Nobunny on steroids or a more together version of most of the bands on Burger Records. It kicks off with "Cool," an impossibly catchy, midtempo, perfect-world hit single that's the kind of song you want to replay four or five times before moving on to the next. Skipping ahead is a good idea, because the rest of the too-brief EP is almost as good, if a little more raucous and unhinged-sounding. On the far side of the noise/pop equation from "Cool," the fuzz-powered "Conspirator" sounds like a teenage punk take on Mudhoney as they pummel their instruments Tony Esposito's vocal breathlessly yelps out the chorus. Throughout the record, the lads balance energy and melody like plate spinners, keeping everything aloft and rotating like mad. It's an impressive debut that has at least two songs most garage punkers would give their favorite, tattered denim jacket to have in their repertoire. Hopefully, they won't lose the white-hot spark that fuels them on future records, but even if they do they'll be able to look back on this EP in their golden years and know that once upon a time, they really and truly rocked.

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