POP QUIZ!

Q: The World’s Best American Pizza?

A: Pizza Hut

Q: The World’s Best American Blog?

A: Blocland

Q: The World’s Best American Band?

A: White Reaper

There are fewer things The World’s Best American Blog likes more than chomping on some of The World’s Best American Pizza while listening to The World’s Best American Band. With sweet pizza sauce dripping from our lips and an American flag flapping in the wind high atop a high school flagpole, the distant sounds of a crowd cheering fills our ears.

Indeed, dear reader, we have heard White Reaper’s sophomore album The World’s Best American Band and are happy to report it delivers (much like Pizza Hut’s 2-topping #1 Pizza Delivery Deal) on its album name promise.

Artists like Kanye West and MGMT have used the sounds of cheers/applause to end their best albums. Conversely, The World’s Best American Band chooses to begin their album where those artists gave up. A bullfighting crowd cheers as Nick Wilkerson fires out warning shots through his drum kit. Lead singer Tony Esposito responds in kind with a riff that would make Ozzy Osbourne smile confusedly. [Ed. Note: Blocland supports the elderly and donates Pizza Hut sponsorship proceeds through AARP to help install shower chairs in retirement communities.]

Everybody in the band, kissin’ cheeks & shaking hands.

White Reaper end the longest song they’ve ever written with a school bell that seamlessly sets up lead single “Judy French”. You can play “Judy French” 100 times and it refuses to get old (I’ve tested this and it is true). What comes next are the two best examples of why White Reaper need to be America’s rock ‘n’ roll champions. “Eagle Beach” and “Little Silver Cross” are enough proof that White Reaper have evolved into a better band. The latter highlighting the integration of Ryan Hater’s keys into the song’s foundation rather than acting as musical dressing. The former serves as evidence that this band could be at their best when they slow down and craft a song longer than two minutes.

Waiting for something, that’s coming too slow.

I say, “could be,” because this band still kicks out two minute songs better than anybody. Tracks 5, 6 & 7 sail past the album’s middle section with enough pizazz (not to be confused with Pizza Hut) to make any fan of White Reaper Does It Again smile. “Tell Me” stretches back out past the three-minute mark, anchoring the album’s B-side, before yielding to the penultimate track “Daisies” that successfully lulls the listener into a false sense of security. White Reaper don’t want you to leave this album experience thinking they’ve abandoned their roots. “Another Day” is a 4th of July fireworks show condensed to less than two minutes. When was the last time you heard a song about the monotony of life that simultaneously made you want to live every breath of said boring life? It’s the best way to close out an album. It proves that White Reaper are not a one-trick pony, even though it displays that their supposed “one-trick” is still better than many band’s careers.

Another day in this bullshit world.

In an early 2017 interview, Tony Esposito revealed The World’s Best American Band had been complete “for like an entire year.” This begs the question, have White Reaper been The World’s Best American Band since 2016? Have you heard “Half Bad” from their self-titled debut EP? Could White Reaper have been the best since 2014? Or perhaps The Strokes casual “who cares” attitude in 2001 was in response to their inevitable irrelevancy in 2017? Were Green Day, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana simply ripping off the future? Did Metallica popularize thrash metal to attune America to what they knew was coming down the pipe? Was Iggy Pop screaming about White Reaper on Fun House closer “L.A. Blues” this whole time?

You scribble “WHITE REAPER” next to a hand drawn crescent moon and lightning bolt. The school bell rings and you flee class and hop into your Cadillac. As you slow ride around the parking lot blasting “Judy French” for the 101st time, you ponder to yourself, “Why can’t every pop quiz be that easy?”

  • DFrye

    Nice work RJ. I think I may listen to this album of music.

    • theyachtmaster

      Don’t rush into anything

  • Blochead4real

    Q – Best American Dino-Deity?
    A – Don’t be a fucking idiot. RJ, sillyhead.

    White Reaper F’ing rules. This review rules. Blocland rules. DOES ANYBODY CARE ABOUT THE FUCKING RULES!?!?!?!?

    • raptor jesus

      Oh that reminds me of something I left out of the article since I thought it was too off point.

      I burned TWBAB and WRDIA onto one CD-R a month back. Even though I, we, loved WRDIA SO MUCH, when “Another Day” ends and “Make Me Wanna Die” begins the production quality is SO NOTICEABLE.

      Perhaps that’s not too revelatory, but it made it way harder to listen to WRDIA now. I have to go all in with TWBAB because it’s now their best sounding album. They’re on their way up!

      • Blochead4real

        That’s exactly what I’m thinking as I listen to this. The production is SO MUCH BETTER. But WRDIA might just be my all time favorite album. Y’all know how much I listen to that thing. I simply love this band. It’s like all the things about rock and roll that I love with none of the shit I hate. It’s like listening to Dirty Projectors with everything the opposite.

    • Cooolin

      If anyone ever says “Rock n Roll is dead waaaaaaaaaaahhhh” and cites this Imagine Dragons-core “alternative” garbage as “what rock has become,” I have a massive list of fantastic modern rock bands prepared for them. White Reaper is at the top.

      Also Screaming Females, White Lung, Remo Drive, King Gizzard … I feel like “indie rock” is finally becoming “rock” again. Maybe wishful thinking but fuuuuuck there’s no shortage of great contemporary rock music. You just can’t listen to “106.7 BPI Denver’s ROOOOCK Station (brought to you by iHeartRadio)” and expect to ever hear the good stuff.

      • Saul_Wright

        Fuuuck, Screaming Females are so good.

        • Padfoot24

          SCREAMALES! YAS!

          • Blochead4real

            That’s the thing, right? That the GOOD stuff is now obscure and weird. If this was 1978 every fucking Camaro would be blasting White Reaper. They aren’t doing something new here. There doing a perfect version of a thing that has always kicked ass. And always will.

  • lobster man

    Thank you RJ. I think I’m going to enjoy this album with a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza and a side of large traditional wings.

    • raptor jesus

      Free Garlic Bread for first time deliveries!

  • Cooolin

    Great review, RJ. This album SLAYS (do humans still say that?).

    • Blochead4real

      It’s weird to call this band a “sleeper” But at first blush they seem like just another really good poppy punk/garage band. But listen to em enough and you realize they have more hooks than a fucking bait store. They pile em on, one after another. We are gonna street team THE FUCK out of this album when AOTY discussions start.