The opening chords of “The World’s Best American Band” descend and you’re in for it—gimmick or no gimmick. It’s a dramatically classic sound that grabs you hook, line and sinker until you’re headbanging (ironically or unironically), stars in your beer goggles. As Zach Schonfeld writes in Paste’s review of the album, “It’s rock for rock’s sake, outfitted with the gleefully immodest stage vocabulary of an ‘80s hair-metal band: kick-flips, dueling guitar solos—cocky gestures the average introverted indie band avoids like asbestos.”
Live, perhaps, this is even more palatable. Today, White Reaper released a live video for “The World’s Best American Band” from their performance at Metro in Chicago, and you can watch it in the player below. The band spices up the title track with bass solos and other synthy business, and frontman Tony Esposito interjects halfway through for a few brief and highly original words: “Wow, I see so many friends out there, you guys are great.”
It’s true what they say about faking it till you’re making it, and about a little bit going a long way. As the camera cuts between thrashing fans who appear to be mouthing every single word, band members are onstage making equally as grandiose gesticulations of worship to good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll.
Below, enjoy White Reaper’s “Make Me Wanna Die” from before they were the best American band in the whole wide world, when they were simple garage punks from Louisville making headlines. And if you missed White Reaper’s cartoon music video for the title track, you’re due to understand “Judy French,” that the grim reaper is always behind you and dropping out of college is really the best option.
The World’s Best American Band made our list of the 50 best albums of 2017. For the rest of 2017 and beyond, this band will still be touring—dates below.
White Reaper Tour Dates:
29 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Steel *
01 – Poughkeepsie, N.Y. @ The Chance *
03 – Stroudsburg, Pa. @ Sherman Theater *
05 – Clifton Park, N.Y. @ Upstate Concert Hall *
06 – South Burlington, Vt. @ Higher Ground *
08 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ Egyptian Room, Old National Centre *
16 – Asbury Park, N.J. @ Champagne Jam
30 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club *
31 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club *
11 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox *
12 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox *
13 – Eugene, Ore. @ McDonald Theatre *
15 – Napa, Calif. @ JaM Cellars Ballroom *
17 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Masonic *
18 – Santa Barbara, Calif. @ Arlington Theatre *
20 – Las Vegas, Nev. @The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The Chelsea *
24 – Tempe, Ariz. @ Innings Festival 2018
(* w/ Spoon)