If you’ve been frequenting JOVM for the past year or so, you may be familiar with the Louisville, KY-based quartet, White Reaper. Comprised of Tony Esposito (vocals, guitar), Ryan Hater (keyboards), Sam Wilkerson (bass) and Nick Wilkerson (drums), the quartet first caught the attention of the blogosphere with the release of a blistering and urgent six track self-titled EP that clocked in at about 15 minutes, along with a number of high profile tours with Deerhoof, Young Widows, Priests and others. And after all of that, the band spent time writing and recording the material that would wind up on their forthcoming full-length debut effort, White Reaper Does It Again, which is slated for a July 17 release through Polyvinyl Records.
White Reaper Does It Again’s latest single “Sheila,” continues the feeling and tone of it’s first single “Make Me Wanna Die” as the song consists of thundering drums, furiously buzzing guitar chords, snarled vocals and ethereal keyboard chords that burst out for the hook, just beneath a noisy tumult. And as a result, this single, like the one preceding it, evokes power pop, punk rock and new wave simultaneously although “Sheila” does something a little different – it seems to evoke a forceful, gritty punk rock version of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” where their Sheila, who has a “hole in her heart” is the girl the narrator is desperately trying to win over, and somehow they can’t get her to pay attention. Somehow, all of us have known a Sheila or two in our lives. And naturally, it gives the song a rather bittersweet tone, just underneath all the ass kicking frenzy.