The term pop-punk is usually employed with a bit of a condescension, reserved mostly for emo bands from the early aughts who took their pain mainstream. White Reaper are none of those things, but when I listen to their music I can’t help but think “pop-punk” is the most fitting description. The Louisville four-piece captures the energy, fury, and ambition of the best punk, but cut through those snarling guitars with decidedly pop sensibilities. “Pills” is the third single off their upcoming album, White Reaper Does It Again, following up the seething “I Don’t Think She Cares” and the turbo-charged “Makes Me Wanna Die.” This one is more bouncy, leaning on a bright synth melody until it careens right into the rubbery bass line. The whole thing is an off-kilter mesmerizing bit of, well, pop-punk. That’s a great thing. Listen.
White Reaper Does It Again out 7/15 via Polyvinyl. Pre-order it here.