White Reaper’s claim to fame first began after their explosive live act started turning heads and ears in Louisville, which led them to take off on a little tour in which the live act caught the attention of crowds nationwide. A little time has passed since this tour, and the four piece of young 20-somethings have used this bit of experience to craft this bombastic and raucous full length debut, White Reaper Does It Again. This record, though on the short side, is a rambunctious and explosive first album with select tracks that will surely be jammed in your head for a long time in the future.
The record’s start is explosive and immediately gripping: the first track, “Make Me Wanna Die” has enough fuzz on it to give you imagery of tv static all while you jam along. The instant you press play on the album and this song comes rapidly flooding through the speakers you can hear the band’s direction and genre fairly instantaneously— they waste no time in getting to the meat of their material. As I already mentioned, the electric guitar is ferociously fuzzy, raging through the track at high volume, the vocals from Tony Esposito are also heavily distorted and yet they crisply resound. Meanwhile, one element stands out quite cleanly from the mix, and that’s the intermittent organ sounding keyboard riffs which pop away from the mass of reverb and grit, acting like a cool wave of water to splash you in the face from the white hot guitar, vocals and cymbal-heavy drums. It’s a bright start to the record, and surely one of the bright stars on White Reaper Does It Again.
As the first track suggests, this album is a blistering shot of adrenaline to the heart from the beginning to the end and the band doesn’t ever really slow it down or pause for a break. Even in the middle of the album, where one might expect a lull in the garage rock, White Reaper give you the killer back to back duo of “Candy” and “Sheila.” The first of these two tracks centers around the rapid fire vocal delivery from Esposito, which is at once sweet and fierce. His voice, perfectly distorted, snarls and spits verse after verse, matching the guitar riffs and playfully bouncing around. These vocals are pushed to a new level on the next track, “Sheila,” on which I’m reminded of the vocals from Surfer Blood. This track simmers at the beginning, and the vocals serve as almost an agitator to bring the song to full volume. When the band bursts into the chorus, they truly shine, and all the elements come together for a buzzy whirlwind of garage rock.
While this is quite the impressive full length debut, I’ve found that some tracks simply stand out a little brighter than the rest. This is not to say those that I haven’t singled out here aren’t good or worth spending time with— on the contrary the whole record is quite gripping, but with further extended listening, there are certainly numbers that will stay with you for longer than others. Figure out which ones those are for you and spend some time with White Reaper Does It Again.