An EP, the increasingly preferred format choice for the post-it-quick generation, leaves little for us writers to pontificate over. In the case of a crashy, buzz-guitar, snot-pop band like White Reaper, that’s a good thing. One need not pick apart such instant-inspiration lest you lessen the youthful charge of it all. And really, so far, there’s only so much to dig into here, at first.
The debut from this new Louisville, KY, trio starts prickly pleasant enough, with Cool landing on the melodic end of the trash-garage aesthetic. As we kick forward a bit, occasional short, unexpected girlie backup vocals, cheap synth snippets, and bordering-on-overspill echo on the lead vox all hide a tippy-tappy hi-hat sound that’s fighting the rush of the guitars like gnats verses wasps. Meanwhile, in Funn and Half Bad, the frentic singer, Tony Esposito, sugar-shouts like he’s running away from that tumbling bugs bout, only glancing back once in a while and laughing at the same time, almost tripping over his own feet. It’s got that trashy, first week of summer vacation energy of the Burger Records contingent, sans the kitschy, kegger yucks and more pure power pop heart.
By the last three tunes, especially in the middle of the anthemic storm of Conspirator, the band locks into more thrashing drums, cheap keys, and thicker, cutting riffs, and suddenly you feel like you’re sitting in on the basement practice development of a band right before your eyes. Not bad for one of those chintzy EP things.