Is White Reaper “The Best American Band In The World”?


White Reaper, “the best American band in the world”

There is no greater compliment a group can receive than having people turn on them. The backlash means you are not standing still.

Some White Reaper fans seem disturbed by the confident, refined, and extremely radio-ready songs from the Louisville band’s second album, “The World’s Best American Band.” These fans are wrong.

“The World’s Best American Band” largely – and sometimes gloriously – accomplishes one of music’s most difficult feats: power pop on an epic scale, including a few songs that live up to the ironic title of the album. Pop songs are easy to fake but impossible to understand, and they are no truer than “Judy French”.

Songwriter Tony Esposito’s supply of must-have hooks remains significant, but he no longer relies on just one. Songs such as the title track and the “Little Silver Cross” layer cling with a festive confidence that invites comparison with the greats of the genre. There’s still plenty of Cheap Trick, Sweet, and punk energy, but traces of Thin Lizzy, woefully underrated for her pop intelligence, are everywhere as Esposito exercises his guitar chops.

White Reaper doesn’t like wasting time – his albums and gigs are short and to the point – and this one is almost like two really short records sewn together. The A side is devoted to the arenas while the B tone down the grandeur with songs that strike less immediately but boast a more unambiguous tenacity. Best in the world? Nope. Competitors? Oh yes.

– Jeffrey Lee Puckett, Le Courrier-Journal

3.5 out of 4 stars


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