White Reaper - Asking for a Ride Music Album Reviews

White Reaper - Asking for a Ride Music Album Reviews
The Louisville rock band refines its major-label sound on a brief but charming new album: It hits hardest when you don’t think too much about it. 

White Reaper have been one album away from their big break for a while. Since the early 2010s, they’ve paid their dues as a punk-adjacent band with indie rock credibility, a glorified Iron Maiden T-shirt that decided to try taking on the world. You could hear their love for Van Halen and Cheap Trick on their teeth-kicking debut EP and Polyvinyl LPs, as frontman Tony Esposito fine-tuned his voice to be more melodic, and the band honed their ability to incorporate riffs as a song’s central hook. Standout 2017 single “Judy French” marked the point when White Reaper started embracing larger ambitions; they now wanted to be Cheap Trick. Tours with fellow arena-via-garage rockers Weezer and Billy Idol and an Elektra deal followed.

Even with these markers of success, White Reaper are still White Reaper. Asking for a Ride is their second major label release and, like its predecessor, 2019’s slick-but-fun You Deserve Love, it’s not a clear step up or back. It’s a refinement of the Major Label White Reaper Sound, where the hooks and melodies are undeniable and now include some Kiss-sized muscle. At its best, Asking for a Ride confirms that they have evolved from writing songs daydreaming of playing stadiums to writing songs that would sound huge in one. But at 29 minutes, this is their shortest album, and for the first time, there’s some filler. The van is a lot nicer, but the destination feels unclear.

Explaining a riff is like explaining a joke, so it’s easier to take the music and lyrics of Asking for a Ride at face value. Opening tracks “Asking for a Ride” and “Bozo” sound less inspired by Iron Maiden and more like sleepy karaoke, trying to recapture some of that “Make Me Wanna Die” snottiness like a 30-year-old heading back to college for homecoming week. Album closer “Pages” includes the first prominent use of acoustic guitar in a White Reaper song, but it feels like just another box to check for a band that maybe wants to write its own “If You Want My Love.” For the first time, I can’t tell if White Reaper even likes these songs—which used to be the whole point.

There are more successful attempts at power ballads elsewhere on the record. White Reaper have never been terrific at slower tempos, yet “Heaven or Not” and its sway-inducing, Pretenders-like melodies feel like a suggestion of what a Monster Ballads-worthy White Reaper song could be. It’s a rare step forward. Otherwise, Asking for a Ride works best when they stick to the old playbook. Like “Judy French,” “Fog Machine” can out-riff (and out-finger tap!) anyone west of Turnstile, and Ryan Hater’s heroically cartoonish synth entrance into the chorus would make Wayne and Garth blush. The lyrics are appropriately nonsense (“Blowing out those candles…like a fog machine”) and I want to sing along as loud as possible while air guitaring. “We knew we loved playing it together,” Esposito said of the song. “We got it together at the last minute before we went into the studio and now it’s our favorite song to play live.” In a sense, this casual observation summarizes the charm of Asking for a Ride: At its simplest and most carefree, it’s a blast. Stop to think about it too much, and the road gets rocky.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
White Reaper - Asking for a Ride Music Album Reviews White Reaper - Asking for a Ride Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on February 03, 2023 Rating: 5


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