When White Arrows played Bristol a few months back in a support slot for jam-driven blues psychopaths White Denim, they didn’t allow for any pre-judgement. Instead they dived head-first into the colourful collection of songs that appear on their debut album Dry Land Is Not A Myth. While the music they unleashed wasn't as abstract as the headline, LA’s White Arrows managed to turn the heads of the music boffins that filled the room.
Music enthusiasts will most appreciate what occurs within the ten tracks of this debut. Although there are a few memorable lines, lyrics seem to have taken a background role as melody and instrumentation steal the attention in every track, leaving the listener happily humming all day about jellyfish…or something.
The band’s writing process is largely structured around layering great ideas on top of one another until a usable song is created. The unconventional writing method is doubtless the reason behind many of the tracks’ busy sound-scapes, which almost feel like an ethereal stream of consciousness - in the galaxy’s best dance tent. Mickey’s vocal twang eventually becomes distinguishable and hints at Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill in the album’s first single, “Get Gone” - a chirpy and unbelievably catchy track that boasts the best chorus on the disc.
The album takes a risk however, in opening track “Roll Forever”. The song has an introduction that may discourage impatient listeners as it ventures into a faux-dubstep blast. But thankfully, all is redeemed by the track’s later verses and choruses that soar through more respected contemporary genres, setting the tone for the rest of the album.
The album proves White Arrows are a very relevant and ‘current’ act. In showcasing guitar-driven songs like "I Can Go" alongside slower tempo dream pop tracks like “Sail On”, this really is an important debut on account of its diverse song writing and charismatic execution. Songs like “Getting Lost” and “Little Birds” suggest a wide range of influence in their differing atmouspheres. Every track manages to maintain an endearing personality that somehow feels both fresh and comfortably familiar, but is ultimately recognisable as White Arrows’ summery electronica.
It’s an album that deserves open car windows and sunshine, and it only takes a small amount of time for the newly labelled ‘calypso-pop’ hooks to get under your skin. A beautifully written, perfectly timed release.
Release: 19th June 2012, Turnout