A bold claim from a defying band, indeed.
Yet, Louisville, Kentucky outfit White Reaper’s latest marvel ‘The World’s Best American Band,’ could very well put them in the running. Boasting not-so-subtle flecks of circa 70s glam/80s rock n’ roll vibes (think Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick, T.Rex et. al), throaty punk vocals, and some pop-punk lyrics, it is a nostalgic yet refreshing album for the masses. Not to mention it is also compressed in a half hour listening, which takes some nudging from the likes of The Ramones. Like classic ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ on the band’s iconic LP, there are no room for fillers.
The title track ‘The World’s Best American Band’ kicks the garage rock ignition. Opening with a roaring crowd noise and a classic drum entrance, it is an arena rock dream coming to life. The add-on essentials, like the crunchy guitar and bass bravado, plus Tony Esposito’s wailing vocal range, elevate the soundscape towards its deliverable key change.
Lovely ‘Judy French’ is one of the album’s standout cut. The marriage of an infectious guitar riffage from Esposito, and circa 1980’s glam ballad keyboards, exult an overlooked band to the mainstage. Clean and concise, thrashing yet easy to the ear, is what makes the cut the most enjoyable. The official lyric video is also very unique. The next phenom ‘Eagle Beach’ starts off with a harmonious guitar part. Then, becomes solidified around a modish bass line. Esposito’s intuitiveness on the guitar neck becomes more apparent by the solo. Its crisp and solid, as always.
Following-up are tracks ‘Little Silver Cross’ and ‘The Stack.’ The latter slows only a little in the beginning with keyboards before accelerating another hair metal-like piece. ‘The Stack,’ on the other hand, recalls the glory days of high school dances. Also, some pop-punk fandom. Both demonstrate Esposito’s virtuous guitar chops and punk gruffs, while also showing White Reaper’s immeasurable talent to mesh so effortlessly together. ‘Party Next Door’ pulsates behind distorted power chords, chromatics in the chorus, and grittiness. ‘Crystal Pistol’ throws a tease of F bar blues before going into more pop and rock fusion with some breakdowns in the end.
Next, ‘Tell Me’ is another standout track full of poise, particularly with it sultry bass line, bends and hammer on pull offs from the guitar. Though, it has overall confidence heard in the instrumentation. ‘Daisies’ and ‘Another Day’ conclude the abbreviated LP, with ‘Another Day’ ending in all out rock jam session emulating the punk greats like The Ramones or Sex Pistols.
White Reaper truly have done it again (if you know what I mean). They bring the old rock n’ roll and modern acts into a stomp-worthy conglomerate of their own. Are they ‘The World’s Best American Band?’ Probably not, but they are definitely can be considered a contestant.
‘The World’s Best American Band’ is out now.