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White Light Motorcade - Thank You, Goodnight


Review: Jack Foley

THE New York music scene is almost synonymous with the pop-punk Eighties-based sound of the likes of The Strokes, Stellastarr* and The Rapture, so it's kind of refreshing to find a band out of the Big Apple who don't fall into that pigeon-hole.

White Light Motorcade are exactly that - a New York based four-piece who could just as easily hail from Manchester, or California's sun-drenched West Coast.

More indie than punk, yet occasionally grungy as well, White Light Motorcade evoke countless comparisons with everyone from Oasis to The Stone Roses, and from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to Muse, while their music has fired the imaginations of critics from the NME ('rock 'n' roll music to fight to') to X-Ray ('[they] have clearly set their sights beyond Manhattan'), and it's easy to see why.

The debut album, Thank You, Goodnight, is the type of long-player which grabs you by the balls from the moment you first hear it, and continues to tighten its grip the longer it plays.

The band themselves claim to possess 'a low tolerance for bullshit' and this is reflected in the brash style of many of the tracks, with guitars and heavy drum loops very much to the fore, offset neatly by Harly Dinardo's snarling vocals.

Opening track, Open Your Eyes, is a classic example, beginning with a warped guitar riff, which gives way into the type of thumping, attitude-laden rock 'n' roll anthem that Liam Gallagher would be proud of (and the vocal patterns aren't dissimilar).

Once hooked (and you will be), the heavy-hitters keep on coming, from the sweeping All Gone Again (with a chorus pinched right out of The Vines' back catalogue), through to the clap-happy, glam-rock tinted My Way (which tips its hat to a Fountains of Wayne feelgood vibe), and the no-nonsense stomper, Semi-Precious, which draws in elements of BRMC at their brashest.

And yet White Light Motorcade aren't just about the big stuff. Subtler moments, such as the tender, Closest, raise eyebrows for daring to change the pace a little (while still retaining their allure), while the lamentful Useless kicks off in a vocal style more akin to Lennon, before wailing in the type of fashion that Muse have perfected.

Perhaps most surprising, however, is the blatant Stone Roses homage contained in the guitar riffs of Dream Day, which flirt with Waterfall, before veering off into early Feeder rock 'n' roll territory.

Some may argue that White Light Motorcade's debut is nothing more than a series of well-produced rip-offs, that fail to reach the heights of any of their inspirations, but that would be harsh, and misplaced.

On the strength of this, the band isn't afraid to honour its influences, while retaining a sound that is distinctively their own.

This is a rock 'n' roll album, from a bunch of New Yorkers, which rivals many of the best albums to have emerged from that city this year - but for different reasons than normal.

In short, it is a hopelessly addictive slice of rock 'n' roll heaven.

 

 

 

Track listing:
1. Open your eyes
2. It's happening
3. All gone again
4. My way
5. Semi precious
6. Closest
7. We come together
8. Dream day
9. I could kick myself
10. Useless
11. Looking at stars

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