White Reaper – Make Me Wanna Die (Stream)
by Steven Spoerl
2015 already seems like its building towards a tidal wave of great releases that will consume everything in its path and today’s another one offering some formidable contributions. Since there weren’t too many full streams worth noting, it seems like that’d be an ideal starting point. While the medium may not have had the most impressive numerical outing, Big Moth more than filled the void with the self-titled EP. Hints of basement pop, basement punk, and the golden age of emo/post-hardcore resonate throughout the release (in a manner not too dissimilar from Attendant’s Freaking Out), securing it a spot as one of 2015’s finest debuts to date. For music videos, there was an inspired trio of clips: the infectiously joyous “East Coast Cities” (a giddy highlight off of Crabapple’s excellent Is It You), clipping.’s brilliant, striking “Intro“, and TV On the Radio’s soulful, delicate “Trouble“.
Unsurprisingly, single streams- once again- came out swinging. Which is as good a place as any to point out that the decisions for which item to headline have been nightmarish mental bloodbaths (in the best way possible). Roughly half of what’s linked to in this post that isn’t directly embedded below put up a fight to earn this piece’s central focus. From Pupppy‘s droll mid-tempo masterpiece “Or Maybe We’re Not” to The Midwestern Charm‘s re-release of fiery Growing Pains highlight “General Drag” (a live video of which exists in our archives), there were almost too many great songs to consider. Joining their ranks were Birds of Night’s compellingly moody “Asleep in the Pine”, The Dead Ships’ dark, frenetic “Floorboards“, and the retro-psych of Fauna Shade’s ridiculously enjoyable “Marzipan“. Completing the batch were Mac DeMarco’s touring band’s band (Walter TV) and their “Surf Metal“, Day Wave’s typically introspective “Drag“, and the unnervingly hypnotic ambient folk of Wilsen’s “Garden“.
As difficult as it was, a decision had to be made and White Reaper wound up outsprinting everyone else with the frantic, frenzied assault of their debut full-length’s lead-off single “Make Me Wanna Die”. After last year’s outstanding self-titled EP and a handful of mentions on this site, expectations for their first LP were raised. Add in the fact that the band signed to Polyvinyl (joining a slew of site favorites in the process), and the anticipation heightens. “Make Me Wanna Die” both justifies those high levels of anticipation and delivers a devastating gut-punch to any doubts surrounding the record’s early expectations. Fuzzed-out, punchy, and more manic than ever, the band also somehow found a way to refine their pop sensibilities, creating something that easily ranks among the year’s best. From the jaunty synth hook to the blistering pace, White Reaper appear to not only be in complete control of their craft but at the current height of their powers. Catchy as hell and packed with meaning, “Make Me Wanna Die” is a monstrous first look at what could be one of the surprise albums of 2015. After the drums kick in cloaked in a wall of noise and the count-off hits, it’s nothing but a whirlwind of surging lo-fi heat that strikes the perfect balance between scuzz-punk and powerpop. If the rest of the amusingly-titled White Reaper Does It Again lives up to what the band achieves here, it’ll be one hell of a thrill ride.
Listen to “Make Me Wanna Die” below and pre-order White Reaper Does It Again from Polyvinyl ahead of its July 17 release date here.