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Alternative & Indie - Released October 18, 2019 | Elektra (NEK)

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 7, 2017 | Polyvinyl Records

White Reaper always had a little bit of AOR swagger knocking around the edges of their rambunctious garage rock style. Their debut album, White Reaper Does It Again, indulged in the occasional double-tracked guitar lead and Van Halen-esque bump and grind, though it was mostly swept aside by the full-throated attack of singer Tony Esposito and the clattering mess the trio whipped up in the studio. Their second album, The World's Best American Band, makes it clear right from the start that this time around White Reaper are embracing their album rock background with both hands, tying a bandana around their collective heads, and getting down to some radio-ready, nostalgia-driven good times, while answering the musical question almost nobody besides them ever thought to ask. Namely, what would Survivor have sounded like with Jay Reatard on lead vocals? The title track comes rocking out of the gate like an unholy union of ZZ Top's "Legs" and the Raspberries; the rest of the album follows suit in similar fashion. There are moments that bring back memories of the Cars ("Judy French") with their clear riffs and space-filling keyboards; times when it sounds like they were working on a cover of "Walk This Way" and got a little distracted by a Thin Lizzy song ("Eagle Beach"); and lots of chances for Esposito to show off the guitar chops he no doubt spent his early days honing. Probably in a bedroom covered with Molly Hatchet, Bon Jovi, and Heart posters. The rest of the bandmembers are locked in with him, creating a big, booming sound that swaggers and rocks just like their heroes. The keyboards are a big addition to the band's sound, and Ryan Hater sounds like he's studied and digested the complete works of both the Cars and Journey. It's all a stunning departure from their previous sound, and for the most part it totally works -- except for one or two times when they come off a little too slick (like on the synth-led "Little Silver Cross," which oddly sounds like Future Islands with the guitarists from DragonForce sitting in) -- especially once you set aside expectations that they might keep doing that rowdy garage rock thing they did so well. The songs are stupidly hooky and fun; Esposito yowls his way impressively through each and every moment of each and every song; there's so much good-natured strutting that David Lee Roth might get jealous; and the whole album basically sounds like it was recorded from a VCR copy of a 1978 episode of The Midnight Special. Other bands have tried this angle over the years; a couple of them even did a pretty good job (Free Energy, for one). On The World's Best American Band, White Reaper knock it out of the park, drive over it in a noisy Mustang, and deliver nothing but a good time. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 29, 2019 | Elektra (NEK)

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 17, 2015 | Polyvinyl Records

The guys in White Reaper don't fool around. They blast through the 11 songs on their debut album White Reaper Does It Again like they're late for the next gig, bashing and crashing happily with big dumb smiles on their faces. The same big old smiles those lucky enough to add the album to their libraries will have plastered on their mugs too. And really, if you love punky bubblegum or bubblegummy punk, you should own the record, no excuses. Or if you like Jay Reatard or Ty Segall or any of their ilk. Basically, if you want your rock & roll served up hot and loose with giant hooks, lighthearted swagger, and just the right amount of noisy clatter, this is the album for you. Since their excellent self-titled EP in 2014, White Reaper added a keyboardist, Ryan Hater, and his organ adds some new dimension to their sound, but really the thrill here is the rip-roaring guitar-bass-drums full-on attack and Tony Esposito's throat-shreddingly expressive vocals. He shouts, hollers, and croons like a hopped-up version of a '50s rockabilly cat with just the right amount of punk snarl. He and the band not only sound right on the up-uptempo rockers that make up the bulk of the record, they nail the slower songs too. Tracks like the tightly wound, slowly creeping "Pills" and chunkily melodic "Sheila" show some nice balance and provide some quick breathers between the paint-peeling rockers. Even the jacked-up tracks bring some nice diversity and some clear highlights, like the jaunty "Candy" that bops along like a lost Exploding Hearts song, the careening "Last 4th of July" that blasts like a stray firework and, well, everything else. It's all a highlight with White Reaper and their album is all thriller, zero filler. It's guaranteed to hit you right in the right spot, getting your feet moving and your head gleefully bobbing along like mad. More than almost any other rock & roll band in 2015, these guys truly get what it's all about and they aren't shy about sharing it as loudly and ecstatically as possible. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 20, 2014 | Polyvinyl Records

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. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 19, 2020 | Elektra (NEK)

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 5, 2020 | Elektra (NEK)

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Rock - Released April 1, 2017 | Audiotree Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 27, 2019 | Elektra (NEK)

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 17, 2020 | Elektra (NEK)

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 18, 2020 | Elektra (NEK)

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 24, 2019 | Elektra (NEK)

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 22, 2015 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 1, 2015 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 11, 2015 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 8, 2015 | Polyvinyl Records

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Rock - Released June 28, 2017 | Audiotree Music