REVIEW: White Reaper – White Reaper EP


White Reaper
White Reaper
Polyvinyl Record Company

The guys in White Reaper make loud-as-hell catchy rock songs that mix classic punk rock sounds from The Ramones with modern indie-pop. And they do a pretty good job of it. So good that Polyvinyl Record Company, who in the past has released choice records from Japandroids, Braid, Mates of State, and Xiu Xiu, decided to release their new self-titled EP, which boasts five old re-recorded songs and one new one. The revisited tracks come from an earlier EP called White Aura and their Conspirator/The Cut seven-inch.

Should five rerecorded tracks and one new song be enough to persuade someone like me to buy this EP? I already have White Aura and Conspirator/The Cut. In fact, we reviewed both of them last year, so I’ve already heard 5/6 of this album. The answer is an enthusiastic “YES.” These updated recordings are much improved, taking them to a new level of comprehension without sounding overly produced or polished. There are still a few rough edges throughout, and the vocals remain heavily distorted. The quality of sound presented comes as no surprise as this EP was engineered and mixed by Louisville noise experts Trip Barriger and Jim Marlowe.

The new track, titled “Half Bad” is the best White Reaper song I’ve heard yet. Stripped down, it’s another of their quick pop-punk songs but with a unique fuzzed out charm that only White Reaper can offer. The cherry on top here is that “Half Bad” gets in and gets out so quickly that you don’t have a chance to get bored. In fact you kinda want to hear it again. And again. And again until you realize “holy shit this song rules!” For me, this track easily justifies buying White Reaper’s self-titled EP, even if it is the only “new” song. Listen to “Half Bad” here, then come back and agree with me.

While listening to White Reaper, it’s pretty impossible not to bob your head, clap your hands, and/or tap your feet. These songs are that infectious. The only problem I have with this record is that it’s too short, and doesn’t offer anything new for folks that already have their previous releases. Hopefully, a full-length with all new music will be released sooner than later.

Read more about what we think of White Reaper by checking out our review of White Aura here and/or our review of their Conspirator/The Cut seven-inch here.