Wednesday, October 9, 2013
White Reaper on Earthbound Records
Why does it seem like a duo has an unfair advantage over most bands?
• It's inherently 50/50 on all songwriting.
• Playing off one other person creates a psychic connection that can be used on mathy precision or epic psych.
• Live shows are easier to pull off with only one other person to count on when it comes to traveling, lugging equipment, showing up for rehearsal, etc.
• The duo is usually overcompensating for a perceived lack of members and subsequently quieter sound than if they had that four guitars.
White Reaper is a duo out of Louisville, KY with Nick Wilkerson drums and Anthony Esposito on guitar. They are also aware of those things and make the most of them, mostly making sure that the layers that are here are as overwhelming as possible.
Massive doesn't even begin to describe A-Side track "Conspirator"... it's thick as hell with a pummeling hardcore sound and doubled up indie Les Savy Fav vocals tear this out of a metal technical attention to detail. In fact it sounds a little muddy in places with layers of heavy distortions carried by the main vocals from Anthony. He's taking that word 'conspirator' and running it through melody variations piling on layers but sticking to the theory that a duo has to try harder and they do, making this more energetic and louder than it naturally should be. It's a sound that may have started out in the garage but got away from itself a long time ago in thundering percussion moving speaker cones. They don't let go of the speed or ever hint at peaking out to keep this in No Age fuzzy pop areas. Embrace the static boys, this can't help but always seem to be pushing things into the red. Those lousy engineers didn't set those peak limiters right. The last guitar strum reveals a hint of spring reverb in the decay...a surf garage still buried in there - deep.
B-Side's "The Cut" is jangle with distortion, a deep crunch that picks up the slightest movement of picks on strings - bendy strings with a little bit of blues sound and I think I even heard the chk chk of a tambourine. Right before this drops back into epic distortions Anthonys got more echo on this one firing away on a repeated riff, dropping it down an octave or two. The way this one continues to develop is what makes you keep coming back. They've come up with all these great parts and blew the whole load on this. They think they'll come up with more? Diving in like this on a single. Hey! You might want to save some of this for the future, but what do I know. That's where it helps to be young and not listen to old jerks like me. It's as big as The Hussy or Bass Drum of Death, with more of a trailer park metal sound, Anthony even has a bit of that Perry Ferrel high register which all came flooding back. Bashing and power chords, shifting melodies and saving nothing. Starting over every time, resetting the clock, never resting on a previous riff. I'm told they've got an LP coming out on Red Lounge later this year? They better get back to the studio.
100 blue, 150 black. I like the Doom heaven sleeve. Hope that's a shirt.
Get it from Earthbound Records.