Again it's been about a week since I posted last, and I do apologize for my current funk. Like I said in my last post, I don't want the articles to get stale and boring, so I'm taking it slow for right now. For those of you who care, lol, I've also started sculpting and drawing again, so I think I'll start another blog where you all can view my visual art. Let me know what you think.
Back to more important business. Today's story is on a New England band called White Rose. Out of Old Greenwich, Connecticut, WR is a foursome comprised of pop-punkers Will Tenney (lead vocals and lead guitar), Ben Stein (guitar and backing vocals), TJ Piccirillo (bass and backing vocals), and Brandyn Dougan (drums). Now I was contacted by Tenney about a month ago asking me if I might listen to his band's stuff (for those of you out there who do have bands, please don't be shy about sending me emails, I'm hear to listen to your stuff). I told him it'd be a few weeks before I could get to it (stupid college apps), but the minute I got to it, I knew the article I'd write on them would be killer. I had to wait, however, until the worst of my funk was over, because these guys deserve the justice I'm about to give them. Aside form being a stand-up guy, Tenney delivers killer vocals and awesome guitar licks in White Rose's songs. But I'm not about to slight the other guys who are just as good, so let's dive right in.
The bulk of White Rose's catalogue is form their new Friday Night Heroes EP. Released in 2009, this EP is a brilliant new sound in the pop-punk gulf of music. So much pop-punk has become way too power-pop for my taste, and just seems even more watered-down by radio and big commercial chains. But this is where true creativity thrives. The first song from WR's EP is "The Movielife." The track begins on a brilliant guitar rhythm and note progression set down by Tenney and Stein. The guitar is really crisp, really fresh, in a way the reminds me of the fresh new sound I heard on Sum 41's All Killer No Filler. Just as the guitars get going, Piccirillo's bass blasts in riding Dougan's flashy drum beats. This rhythm section particularly stands out because I can hear it both above and below the guitars; it completely surrounds the song and keeps it going from second one. Now, aside from impressive guitar progressions, Tenney also proves himself a great singer. His voice is clear and just crunches through you in a unique way that I just can't compare to anyone else. Stein and Piccirillo, as well, produce awesome harmonies that just carry the song to new heights. This is clearly a five-star track, and one I can't wait to hear on the radio.
Track two's "Dear Alex, I'm Sorry" is a cleverly worded ballad about what it means to be a teen. On this song, Piccirillo's bass is especially strong, and I can hear it clearly during the rhythmic choruses. This guy must get underrated all the time because no one ever gives the bass player the credit he (or she) deserves. At the bottom of the pile, Dougan's drums are fast and almost chaotic, owing to what seems to be a Travis Barker influence. Whoever the influence is though, they're amazing, because Dougan's drums just pull you in and thrash you around. The guitar is rhythmic, and choppy in all the right places, making sure that White Rose doesn't sound like anyone else out there. I love the vocals of all three singers on this song, and it quickly climbs the charts in my head as one of my favorite songs this week. Brilliant.
There are two more tracks on the EP: "I'm So Scared" and "Midnight Storms."
"I'm So Scared" sounds eerily like a Blink-182 song to the point where I would mistake it for one. I mean that in the best way, since I'm a huge fan of Blink's innovation and tunefullness. Yet just a minute into the song, we veer away from Blink, and it's White Rose all the way. Tenney's voice is a perfect compliment to his and Stein's sharp guitar chords, and Piccirillo's bass locks tightly with Dougan's drums to drive us farther and faster in this soon-to-be teen anthem.
The latter of the songs, "Midnight Storms," is an upbeat song that rides on Dougan's drums and Tenney's vocals. In between we find Tenney's and Stein's guitar, and Piccirillo's bass, keeping the song tightly wound. Simply put, this is just a great song. A perfect end to a fantastic EP, and certainly a song that'll be stuck in my head for the rest of the night. Awesome job guys, all pop-punk hats off to you.
Sounds Like: Blink-182, Sum 41, Simple Plan, Monty Are I, Amber Pacific
Key Tracks from Friday Night Heroes EP: "The Movielife," "Dear Alex, I'm Sorry," "I'm So Scared," "Midnight Storms"