Record Review: The White Wires

The White Wires
Ottawa, ON

“Red, white and wires”

If you’re a fan of early garage rock, The Ramones, or The Gaslight Anthem, this band is for you.  The White Wires’ brand of rock & roll is a throw back to that gray area between garage rock and punk: when the rock had gotten rougher, but the punk aesthetic hadn’t quite gotten to flipping a giant middle finger to the Man yet.

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Now certainly, Ian Manhire’s crew of Ottawans do have a punk sneer to them – but it’s the sneer of the Ramones covering  “Warm California Sun”…and that’s about as fun-loving a sneer as you can get.  People seem to forget that sing along hooks and celebrations of beaches, summer love, and cars were serious staples of proto-punk long before aggression and pogo dancing.  But The White Wires embrace this notion over the course of 12 songs (all under three minutes) – pure garage pop, power chord energy.

Without a hint of irony, they rock their way through songs like “Let’s Go To The Beach,” “Be True to Your School,” and “Summer Girl,” with an infectious sincerity that would make The Beach Boys proud.  Those themes don’t make for a deep listen, just an unapologetically fun one.  So if you believe there’s still a place in 2011 for power chords to be hard rocking AND fun, check this album out. (Dirtnap Records)

Produced by Yogi // Recorded at Meatlocker Studios

-Ari Goldberg

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