With the current state of world affairs and the less-than-stellar predictions surrounding the future of humanity, we can all collectively agree that we all need some more love in our lives. At least this ideology is agreed upon via the Kentucky native garage rock band White Reaper who have released their greatly anticipated third feature length album You Deserve Love.
Written and recorded in the final stages of their tour with The Struts in autumn 2018, it seems WR shared more than just a tour bus with the English Glam Rockers when dissecting their newest instalment to their discography. The inspiration behind the album is truly a collision of several nostalgia inducing genre’s including their staple Garage Power Pop backbone, intertwined with a rare blend of mid-70’s Glam Rock with indie sensibilities thrown in for good measure, while also balancing the Tom DeLonge-esque vocal styling’s of the bands front man Tony Esposito.
Across the majority of the album WR seem to feed an unknown hunger for easy going Pop Punk bangers with such instalments as ‘Head Wind’ and ‘Hard Luck’. The former is reminiscent of a Brit Pop fantasma while guzzling a pint glass of Mint Julep at an Indie kids first college party, whereas ‘Hard Luck’ dives head first into a toxic flip-flop kind of love, while flying high on nitrous in the backseat of an open top Mustang cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway.
Although both tracks are truly impressive ventures, the inspiration of other instalments doesn’t seem to harbour as much success. ‘Might Be Right’ has some promise, but the repetitive sounds mixed with discombobulated lyrics render its worth down to an LSD fuelled police statement due to the over-sharing, confused and off with the fairies mentality. All of this amounts to a bit of a disappointment that almost makes the lost potential of this track really rather criminal, that isn’t helped by the follow up tracks to the albums lacklustre finale.
The albums closing one-two punch of ‘Eggplant’ and ‘Ring’ feel incredibly short in comparison to their predecessors, as well as lack a certain je ne sais quoi and elevation that is so vibrant in other areas of You Deserve Love. But where the record is most susceptible to falling flat is in its haphazard approach to its lyrical contributions, in the form of rhyming for the sake of it without creating an easy narrative for the listener to follow. As well as being lyrically perplexing, the bands favouring of Glam Rock and West Coast vibes seem to get lost in a mist of 80’s Synth Pop revival producing, that really pulls you away from the over-reaching collision of genre’s that were so fulfilling to indulge in.
As much as the charm shining through White Reaper’s initial goal of spreading the love with their latest release is noble, it doesn’t fully let them off the hook for the accompaniment of its less desirable elements. Nevertheless, steps are taken here that are certain to help the bands quest for alternative dominance. With some fine tuning, there's space for a classic record in the White Reaper repertoire.