The headline of a recent Metromix Chicago article on The Bright White boldly reads "Beatles maniacs." A single listen to the locally-based band's debut EP Until Then offers plenty of proof why. Packed with ringing guitars, well-crafted melodies and heartfelt, rootsy appeal, its five songs are founded on the classic pop elements of the ever-revered British foursome. But that's not all there is to The Bright White; they expand on that core sound with touches of prime-era American alternative rock and then inject it all with an extra shot of raw energy.
Until Then opens with the passionate "Red Summer Rose," featuring a bright melody contrasted by less-than-optimistic sentiments that lie just below the sheen; "There she goes, red summer rose / sure as I was born I'll find a thorn," assert the rich, hard-charging vocals of frontman Matthew Kayser. This sort of split between music and lyrics typically makes for more interesting pop songs, and it's definitely part of what makes The Bright White's debut so grabbing.
"We Are More Than Animals" and "Refugees" continue in the same spirit, pairing power pop hooks with a deep, hearty intensity. "Upon the Wall," quite possibly the standout, hits upon the sound that made classic material by college rock acts such as the Replacements and R.E.M. so captivating; it's a sound that's upbeat and guitar-driven but also a bit gray, and the band get it down perfectly. "She Never Forgets Me," the track most overtly inspired by Beatles songcraft, closes the EP with a positive, acoustic jangle.
The songwriting and performances on Until Then are consistently strong enough that anyone who is a fan of this sort of sound will likely be sold after just one or two plays. The Bright White have delivered an incredibly energetic, likable introduction that deserves to be heard.
Listen to "Upon the Wall" below and get the EP here. See The Bright White live this Saturday, March 12th at Schubas with The Parlotones. More info and tickets here.
Check out more record reviews: