06 April 2009

New Artist Alert: White Lies

[Big ups to Stephen Vasquez for prompting this post.]

Although their debut album, To Lose My Life, has topped the charts and everyone from BBC Radio 1 to NME have been singing their praises, the hype surrounding White Lies seems a bit undeserved. They're a trio from London who make mediocre alternative rock. They occasionally sound like lesser versions of celebrated bands: unexperimental Joy Division; Franz Ferdinand minus the dance; Muse without the impetus. Their songs feature energetic, though sometimes inappropriate, repetitive drumming. The lead vocalist can sound hollow, and his guitar work is nothing special. The bassist is alright, though his sound never really varies. Many of their songs also feature synths, though they do little more than add a harmonic backdrop and thus feel tacked on. They're are pretty good when they finally kick out the stops, which is usually during the last minute of a song after a melodic build up. Then the vocalist's voice really shimmers, the guitar and bass fall inline with the drums, and the synths--well, they sort of disappear, but that's probably for the best. The only problem is that it often takes White Lies so long to get to that sweet spot that most of the song has already passed in a forgetable haze.

Although White Lies' music might be negligible on its own terms, there are a few DJs who have done some interesting stuff with it. Yuksek, who you may remember from last Saturday, transformed "Farewell to the Fairground" into a great electro banger. Filthy Dukes also managed to inject some life into "To Lose My Life," which they molded into a poppy dance tune. Generally speaking, the remixes are much more memorable than White Lies' orginal material.

White Lies - Farewell to the Fairground
White Lies - Farewell to the Fairground (Yuksek remix)
White Lies - To Lose My Life
White Lies - To Lose My Life (Filthy Dukes remix)

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