Apr 282011


It takes a certain amount of cojones to claim for yourself instantly recognizable acts like The Beatles and Oasis as your influences. After all, the number of bands out there who fall over themselves trying to mimick their idols and end up making bland, generic MOR rock are aplenty (exactly the case with Oasis and the Beatles, actually).

Before I get lost in snobbish music critic sulking, though, let’s turn our attention to The Bright White, a brave Chicago quartet who trade in muscular, passionate power pop-rock.

Yes, they wear their influences on their sleeves: All through their debut EP Until Then you can hear the larger-than-life, singalong melodies and ringing guitars; tracks like We Are More Than Animals and She Never Forgets Me reveals a pop discipline that owes as much to Big Star and The Replacements as much as it does to The Beatles. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before and despite the band’s eagerness to compare itself to Revolver-era Beatles, Until Then does little to explore the sonic territory that John, Paul, George and Ringo did on Revolver.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to dislike an effort as earnestly soulful as this one; lead vocalist Matthew Kayser spent time in Nashville before settling down in the Windy City, and his raw, impassioned drawl is bound to draw comparisons to the Southern yelp of Caleb Followill from the Kings of Leon. If nothing else, Until Then showcases the possibilities of a band playing in a room together with nothing more than the three primary colours of rock, and that’s more than you can say for most of radio today.  Likable, melodic and endearingly sincere, one suspects they’d be quite the primal force live, and on that instinct I recommend this record.

(Samuel C Wee)

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