ALBUM REVIEW: WHITE REAPER – The World’s Best American Band (Polyvinyl) – White Reaper, are they the world’s best American band? Well they’ve certainly got their cheap tricks nailed, they’ve certainly got their slick pop rock sorted (they should probably get the Low Bros to design their album covers), they’ve got their tongues in their cheeks with their “kissing chicks and shaking hands” slickness, they probably practiced signing autographs long before they started practicing those glossy riffs.
Have White Reaper done it again then? Yes they almost certainly damn well have. They’re from Louisville, Kentucky, they sound like they’re from L.A in 1979 and yes, they probably are the world’s best American band right now, they’re laced with killer pop rock guitar riffs, most of their songs sound the same and they really shouldn’t be happening like this in 2017. They sound like The Cars, like Cheap Trick, like the 70’s bubblegum end of Kiss, there’s more than a healthy bit of Thin Lizzy playing Bay City Rollers pop in there (don’t scoff, those Ramones based their whole career on Saturday Night). Actually there’s more than a little bit of Lizzy in there, thee’s mountains of Thin Lizzy hooks and harmonies in there, White Reaper are smart, they’re slick, they so so wrong they they’re just so right, they’re unashamedly American pop rock that, unlike that band handing out goodie bags at Knofler’s place, they get the whole point of the bands they clearly grew up on and understand so well. They’re singing about the band they’ll probably never be, a concept album? Their future selves? They should be in stadiums already, they should be all over MTV, all FM radio, they need to be bringing out the double Live at The Budokan album next (gatefold cover, yellow vinyl) and maybe playing a token headline at the Hammy Odeon ’cause no one much in England cares that much for these kind of cheap tricks and kiss offs, they are the most American sounding of bands, that album tittle nails it as perfectly as the slick pop rock riffs, the la la las and the clever little twists do, this is so so much an all American rock thing, and that’s something very very different to being the best rock band in the world – this is American high-school kids driving their Chevy Camaros and their Pontiac Firebirds to the beach party, White Reaper are most definitely an American band coming to your town to help you party it down and this could well be the soundtrack to the next Richard Linklater film with all those twin-guitar leads, just-right keyboards and the pin-sharp drumming and most importantly of all, the pop rock hook lines. They need you to play this second album of theirs loud and this being England we’ll probably get bored before we get to the end of it, no one much got Cheap Trick or The Cars over here did they? White Reaper then, probably the world’s best American pop rock band out there, far too American to have much more than a cult following over here, see you for that one off at the Hammy O in about five years then, love it… (sw)