In terms of playability -- is that even a word? -- the new one from Louisville's White Reaper, called White Reaper Does It Again, is easily one the best releases so far of 2015. Pure rock-'n'-roll in the mold of Stooges cuts remade for modern audiences, the tunes here are direct and infectious. Out in a few days on Polyvinyl, the album just never lets up.
From the opening one-two punch of "Make Me Wanna Die" and "I Don't Think She Cares", the record just kicks into immediate overdrive. While "Pills" opens things up a tiny bit in terms of style, the album is, largely, a gloriously fuzzed-out affair of riffs, riffs, and more riffs.
But it's worth mentioning the sound of the record. There's something delightfully odd about White Reaper Does It Again and I can say that I've not heard many albums that sound like this. Listening to this, one could almost be forgiven in thinking that the band were all playing and singing up on the mics. The treble on this release is dangerously high and the overall effect is of hearing a band rockin' out seemingly through the walls from the place next door. Every cut rides in on a riff and positively buzzes in such a way that it sounds like the speakers might blow at any second.
Stuff like "Sheila" takes on a glam rock vibe, while other tracks seem like American versions of the hook-laden jams on the first album from England's Supergrass. In fact, that seems like the best comparison to make when discussing White Reaper. It would be tempting to lump them in with the sounds of stoner bands like Fu Manchu in terms of volume and punch, or in with Ty Segall and his crew of offshoots due to the melodies, but it is probably more logical to place White Reaper in a class of their own.
White Reaper Does It Again isn't reinventing the rules for rock music but it sure is perfecting the form. Pure listening joy from start to finish, this is a wonderful racket meant to be cranked up loud on headphones or, better still, a car stereo as you cruise around in the summertime.