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White Reaper - You Deserve Love (Album Review)

Wednesday, 30 October 2019 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Grace Lillash

White Reaper’s third album is a collection of smashy indie-rock that should expand the Kentucky band’s audience. ‘You Deserve Love’ combines shouty pop songs about getting drunk and chirpsing girls with excitable, nimble musicality.

And there are some excellent earworms here. Might Be Right melds terse, handy melody writing with real arrangement nous, channeling Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick and the best band to ever come out of Staines: Hard-Fi. It’s a song that has immediate and lasting impact and in another world might have scored bucketloads of radio-play over the next 12 months.

Similarly, 1F is a chunky and bouncy toe-tapper that makes great use of the quintet’s keyboardist, Ryan Hater.

One of the most pleasing things about ‘You Deserve Love’ is the brightness of the sound despite its heaviness. Like early '00s rockers Hot Hot Heat, this often comes from the way the drawbar organ is used.

It provides just enough crunch in the mix to embolden without overpowering it. Such a lightness of touch is crucial as Tony Esposito’s melody writing often has a sweetness that requires bright energy and space. That said, the songs don’t always land.

Real Long Time shares a lot of formal elements with the aforementioned tracks but lacks the melodic punch, while Ring and the title track are a little dull and underwhelming despite some nice production and compositional touches.

At 10 songs in under half an hour, ‘You Deserve Love’ is a tidy little album that wears its throwback grandeur very well. Still, when the dust settles there is little here that demands attention outside of the excellent singles.

White Reaper Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu October 31 2019 - WASHINGTON District Of Columbia - U Street Music Hall (USA)
Fri November 01 2019 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Underground Arts (USA)
Sat November 02 2019 - CAMBRIDGE MA Massachusetts - Sinclair Music Hall (USA)
Sun November 03 2019 - HAMDEN Connecticut - Space Ballroom. (USA)
Tue November 05 2019 - NEW YORK New York - Bowery Ballroom (USA)
Fri November 08 2019 - TORONTO Ontario - Horseshoe Tavern (Canada)
Sat November 09 2019 - DETROIT Michigan - El Club (USA)
Sun November 10 2019 - COLUMBUS Ohio - A and R Music Bar (USA)
Mon November 11 2019 - PITTSBURGH Pennsylvania - Smiling Moose (USA)
Thu December 19 2019 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Basement East (USA)

Click here to compare & buy White Reaper Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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