White White Lights

Photo by Vesper Magazine

Free Week was crazy; I’m still coming down from it. This year, it felt kind of like good practice for SXSW. I was running around to different venues, trying to coordinate with friends who wanted to see shows I wasn’t going to, and staying up waaaaay past my bedtime every night. From Monday through Saturday, I saw 31 bands and never went to the same venue twice. I took in many old favorites (The Shears, Wild Child, Shakey Graves, Sorne, Brownout, Fresh Millions, Zorch), some bands whose recordings I’ve enjoyed but I hadn’t seen live before (One Hundred Flowers, The Sour Notes, BK & Mr. E, Little Radar, Oh Look Out, Maneja Beto), and some bands whose music I had never encountered before (Roxy Roca, Equals, Burgess Meredith, Gobi, Mary Ann & the Revival Band). And yet, the band that took me most by surprise was the White White Lights.

The White White Lights were the only band I saw twice this week, and only by pure coincidence. I headed to Swan Dive on Monday because I like Royal Forest and Little Radar, and was impressed with the White White Lights when they went on third. But when I saw them at Stubb’s on Thursday, after being drawn there by Les RAV and Black Books, they bowled me over. The group’s energy was off the charts and the songs were fantastic. Catchy, hard-rocking, and engaging, they delivered sets that had me wondering why I hadn’t encountered them before.

The White White Lights - 'Space Invaders'

Part of the answer lies in the fact that their last release, Medium Head Boy, a 5-song EP, came out nearly two years ago – several months before I moved to town. It’s a long drought for an up-and-coming local band, and it’s one that they apparently plan to end in the next few months with plans for a summer release in the works. But by the sound of their material this week, there will be much more in the vein of the driving “Space Invaders” single from Medium Head Boy than the slower, dreamier rest of the album. It’s got manic vocals from Jenny Gacy about space invaders and body snatchers over thudding drums and a killer guitar lick. I mean, if that song doesn’t get you pumped, you may want to bust out the defibrillator and get your heart going again. Check it out if you haven’t already, and when we get some samples from the upcoming album, we’ll be sure to pass them along.

– Carter