Sunday, 31 May 2009

REVEW: White Lies - To Lose My Life


This debut from London's White Lies has been the subject of ever-gathering hyperbole since the band (under this monicker, though previously known as Fear of Flying) first hit their home town stage in early '08. It hit the UK number one album spot in January and, as such, buzzed a certain amount upon release in the US not long after. So is it worthy of all the dreamy A&R gazes being thrown its way?

In a word, no.

White Lies
play competent, moody atmospheric rock with a black underbelly, pulling out the not uncommon comparisons that stem from Joy Division (of course) to their most heralded modern day imitators, Interpol and Editors. There's nothing wrong with their application and, for the most part, the band pull off the sound with expertly layered production and an impressive ear for the giant hook. The downside is that we already have those existing bands, not to mention their own lesser copyists.

Every scene has its downward spiral when a style is appropriated by hundreds of clone bands, with this being the general feeling one gets after a few spins of
'To Lose My Life'. It's fine, with songs like A Place to Hide and E.S.T. providing some memorable moments, yet the overall album seems far too similar from song to song and delivers a contradictory "we're dark and moody, but we can bring the pop" message in the same way The Bravery attempted not so many years ago. And hark how quickly their supernova burnt out into a dead star (get that metaphor.....and I haven't even seen the new Star Trek yet folks).

Stripped of all the media love-ins and lofty comparisons,
White Lies deliver reasonable, introspective mood rock with the odd hit tune. Spread across a full album, the quality of sound remains consistent where the quality of song does not. Too little variety exists herein to really get excited about the album as a complete body of work, hence leading to the worry that these lads will struggle to retain interest once the initial coating of promo-paint has been stripped away. Having said that, I will happily laud their sophomore effort if it develops the sound and hits the consistent form of their better tracks. For the moment, however, this is very much a case of awaiting further proof.

Official Site

MP3: White Lies - E.S.T.

Taken from 'To Lose My Life', out now.

Buy it at Insound!

MP3: White Lies - Nothing to Give (M83 Remix)
This remix offers a bit more to the sound. Good on ya, M83.

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Now playing: ¡Forward, Russia! - Spring Is A Condition
via FoxyTunes

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