White Male Actors

Broken Melody, 2014

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Equal parts chiming jangle pop, U2-inspired anthems and reach for the-stars idealism, White Male Actors' debut EP my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Ghosts whets the appetite for the full-length disc while occasionally transcending its source material.

The Irish trio calls themselves major R.E.M. fans – they recorded a tribute song, "31 Years," for the legendary band – and elements of that band's sound comprise a major facet of WMA's music. But where R.E.M. was self-searching and introverted, Ghosts looks onward and upward, sometimes cheerfully, sometimes even compelling.

The best track is "Mysteries And Histories," which draws from the Edge's bag of layered, ringing guitar  notes (the band has two guitar players) set to an urgent rhythm section, some fine vocal work from David McCaughey, and a timeless sound that could have come from the garage in 1985, the alt-rock summer of 1995 or last year. The title track also is good, repeating similar themes but with a darker undercurrent.

"This Is Your Time" shoots for that ol' anthem feel, all soaring vocal hooks and booming drums, but doesn't have enough to say to support that approach, ambitious as it is. "Take A Bow" and "Before The Sun Goes Down" are fine midtempo pieces, rather generic in approach, but then again, remember this is a debut EP and this band has yet to hit its stride.

Fans of R.E.M., U2, and power pop will get the most out of this, but "Mysteries And Histories" and "Ghosts" are worth checking out, and if you like those feel free to check out the other three. There's plenty of potential here from this likable, talented trio.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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