Posted by Aphra Magazine on 13/7/15.
White Reaper’s debut album White Reaper Does It Again certainly deserves to reap an award for being a firecracker of an album; it jumpstarts our ears with infectious guitar scratches, riveting guitar drums, melodic keyboard leads and mesmeric bass that explodes into hardcore bliss. Recorded with engineer Kevin Ratterman in White Reaper’s hometown of Louisville, the album has a fiery oomph and will have you head banging in no time.
‘Makes Me Wanna Die’ is the first track on the album, but its title is deceiving; the song does not ooze despair and angst but rather conjures excitement as we hear a countdown that is hyped up with an epic drum beat, before breaking out into funky guitar strokes. The song is broken up by melodious keyboard tones, which soften the drum and guitar playing, and the vocals are fuzzy yet upbeat at the same time.
Then we are graced with ‘I Don’t Think She Cares’, which kicks off with a fast drumbeat, quickly followed by bouncy pop sounds that differ from the heavier guitar and drumming previously heard. Tony Esposito’s vocals seem to ache with a sadness as he sings, ‘She don’t want nobody… she don’t tell nobody’, suggesting that he has endured potential heartbreak. The guitar is then amped up in the chorus, and Esposito follows up with ‘She don’t care’, which further alludes to the idea that this mysterious woman carelessly hurt him.
‘Pills’ radiates with a steady drumbeat and has random bursts of guitar in between, revving the listener up for another blast of adrenaline. We hear that bouncy pop sound again, which alternates between higher and lower frequencies and further intensifies the song. The chorus is fast-paced, although Esposito’s fuzzy vocals seem to slow the tempo down a bit. Then we have ‘On Your Mind’, which starts with slow and heavy guitar strokes, and the entire song has a surfy and relaxing feel to it. ‘Last 4th of July’ is exciting and fast-paced; the guitar is truly unleashed in this one, with heavier and lighter strokes juxtaposed to create thundering rhythm and make the listener feel as though they’re rocking it in a moshpit.
‘Candy’ has a sweeter feel to it than the other songs. The guitar and drums are more relaxed, and the keyboard leads are quite sugary, although Esposito’s fast vocals heighten the song into a joyous state. ‘Sheila’ brings about a heavy adrenaline-pumping chorus, while Esposito repeats the name ‘Sheila’ a few times. However, the heaviness of the song is broken up by bouncy keyboard lines that are spaced out throughout the song, providing a nice variety to the otherwise blistering quality of White Reaper’s music.
‘Friday the 13th’ is one of the most prominent songs on the album, with a mysterious and chilling beginning that truly captures the creepiness of Friday the 13th. Esposito’s vocals are loud and rough, creating a chiller of a song. White Reaper wrap things up with ‘B.T.K’, a finishing bang to a thrilling album filled with excitement and a pulsating energy. White Reaper has certainly done it again, providing us with a much needed adrenaline fix, one that will undoubtedly have us coming back for more.
White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again is out July 17 on Polyvinyl Records