Friday, March 13th, 2009
To Lose My Life
Review of White Lies' To Lose My Life and giveaway
Steve GullickBritish music is full of long, rich traditions. There’s the long rich tradition of bands sounding like Joy Division. And there’s the long rich tradition of bands denying that they sound like Joy Division. White Lies don’t actually sound like Joy Division. They sound like Editors, who sound like Interpol, who sound like The Chameleons and Joy Division (there’s also a long, rich tradition of bands sounding like The Chameleons and no one noticing, but I digress). And yeah, you can call them on it and dismiss them for the same reasons, but to do so would be to miss the point. The world needs bands that sound like this, for vaguely disaffected alt.kids to glom to and for snootish muso-types to rage against. Without such, well sir, there’d be anarchy.
And while the critics have a valid point in that White Lies bring nothing especially new to the gloom/anthem-rock canon, it’s impossible to deny that when they get the formula exactly right, as they do a few times on their debut To Lose My Life, it’s just as potent as when their forebears did it – “A Place To Hide” in particular is a bullseye and a half. Harry McVeigh isn’t the most elegant or eloquent lyricist but his vocal range covers Ian Curtis lows and Mark Burgess highs, he’s able to turn a phrase with at least as much vague import as Editor Tom Smith and can deliver the choruses with the necessary drama to sell it. Bolster it with stadium-size guitars, a thick bed of synths and some strategically placed strings at the really profound points and you’ve got a number one record. Congratulations.
Having topped the charts in the UK with the record’s release in January, White Lies now set their sights on North America, with the record hitting stores next Tuesday. They’re also touring North America starting with SxSW next week in Austin, Texas. The Toronto date is March 31 at Lee’s Palace and is, unsurprisingly, sold out. but courtesy of Universal Music Canada, I’ve got a pair of tickets to said show to give away as well as a copy of To Lose My Life on CD and last year’s “Death” EP for good measure. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to tell White Lies” in the subject and your full mailing address in the body. Contest closes at midnight, March 22.
MP3: White Lies – “Death”
MP3: White Lies – “Death” (Crystal Castles remix)
Video: White Lies – “Farewell To The Fairground”
Video: White Lies – “Death”
Video: White Lies – “Unfinished Business”
MySpace: White Lies
Prefix seems to think that Patrick Wolf has already assigned a release date to his second album of 2009, before the first one is even out. They’ve got The Conqueror down as a December 29 release (good luck making the year-end lists), following the already-announced June 1 release of The Bachelor.
There’s finally a proper first video from Bat For Lashes’ new album Two Suns, out April 6. She has a date at the Mod Club for April 25.
Video: Bat For Lashes – “Daniel”
Those who enjoy watching their music rather than just listening will find lots of time to kill at rockpeaks.com, who are trying to become the online authority of televised live music performances. It will be interesting seeing them trying to do this legally – be prepared to find lots of “clip removed” notices – but there’s plenty of stuff that still manages to stay online and is worth a browse.