Rock and Roll
Polyvinyl Records – April 7, 2017
From the moment you read the title of White Reaper’s new record, you get an unmistakable sense of the band’s bravado. The music is armed with the know-how of one of Louisville’s best-known producers, Kevin Ratterman, helping the songs evolve from the less-polished, garage-rock style of previous albums to a clearer, weightier, bigger-sounding version of things. The album opener, for which the album is named, opens with the sounds of cheering crowds, featuring an anthemic chorus ready for the radio. “Judy French” is the album’s single, complete with chugging guitars, fast-rolling drums, and quick instrumental breaks that lead back into tight verses. At first listen, “The Stack” could almost pass as a My Morning Jacket track (particularly the resemblance between Esposito’s voice and Jim James’), but a fiery, angular guitar lick at the end of each chorus just gives things a different energy. The album’s closer, “Another Day,” is washed out, distorted, and loud – in just under two minutes, the band wraps things up, never losing the energy they started things with. The World’s Best American Band is a title that toes the line between tongue-and-cheek and sincere, leaning more towards the latter – White Reaper are pure, American rock and roll.
Tracks I Liked: The World’s Best American Band!!!, Judy French!, Eagle Beach!, Little Silver Cross!, The Stack!!, Another Day!
Ben Southworth – April 17, 2017 – Kenwick Place