London-based band White Lies released their second album ‘Ritual’ on January 17th. Based on this, this review should be rather categorized under ‘For The Record’ but ‘Ritual’ being not so new could be just one of two reasons for doing that. The first reason is that the album, in fact, kicks ass.
On the cover, the two girls look exactly like two twins at a screen test of a ‘The Shining’ reboot and being just about to say ‘Come play with us!’. I thought I’d go after them on my trike in the hotel corridor. What did I find?
No dead woman or flashing frames, just really, really good music. It seems that the learning curve for White Lies was quite straightforward, as the album is an organic sequel to 2009’s ‘To Lose My Life…’, only the instrumentation and the songwriting improved a lot.
‘Is Love’ is a perfect startup song which starts minimal and then – by incorporating a lot of electronica – goes on to become a really dancable and catchy tune with a groove upon which we would guess that the band is American.
‘Strangers’ and ‘Bigger Than Us’, the first single off the album give us some uplifting – solemn in some moments – choruses with great overall dynamics, the bass and drums ruling the mix, besides Harry McVeigh’s driving voice which is sometimes indeed nasal but it seems that nowadays it takes you further in IndieWorld.
What comes from ‘Peace & Quiet’ on is a great mixture of contemporary indie and classic postpunk (‘Streetlight’ is an obvious nod to Joy Division but we can feel some Depeche Mode taste in the more keys-heavy songs – be no surprised, the producer of the album besides Max Dingel was Alan Moulder) with well thought-out airy instrumental pieces and some nice vocal melodies.
In case you’re looking for a truly solid, yet creative indie band that look in the past for inspiration and mix it with today’s trends in a respectful way with great taste, this album is a gem.
Below is the video for ‘Bigger Than Us’, apparently inspired by the Steven Spielberg movie ‘E.T.’ with some bass guitar playing slow motion ‘instrument-porn’ and one of the most credible and beautiful kisses a little boy ever gave a little girl on film.