REVIEW: White Wives – “Happeners”

White Wives / Happeners / Adeline Records

White Wives aren’t a punk band. They aren’t a melodic hardcore outfit or a pop rock ensemble. In plain sight, White Wives are White Wives. Constructed by Roger Harvey (Dandelion Snow), Tyler Kweder (American Armada) and Chris Head and Chris Barker (Anti-Flag), Happeners is a full-length debut testing the peaks of instrumental abilities married to inspirations such as the 60s’ Provo movement and highlighting issues through melodies, chords and an output of noise. Instead of laying out a scheme that rages on with ripping headbanger anthems – like the halfway charm “Paper Chaser” – the group evoke more civilized outbursts. “Sky Started Crying” uses keys and a patriotic riff to implement a feeling of liberation that mimes a mid-2000’s Bright Eyes, with Harvey’s significant voice that adds more sincerity to “Spinning Wheels” and makes “The Devil’s Alibi” come off as a despairing cry.

The hooks are unorthodox, the songwriting accented by spoken words from a black and white age is passionate and the gang vocals, bound by the interaction of old friends, will bring tears to the music admirers of Omaha and Pittsburgh. Introducing punk to American alternative is the heart of Happeners; if it can be appreciated is a untouched topic. While “Hallelujah, I’m Mourning” springs with a rhythm exploding to the tune of the album’s best chorus, White Wives lose themselves trying to balance their influences, fluxes of distortion (“Grow So Wild & Free”) and oddly sweet pop punk (“Hungry Ghost”). The exploration by these four men will influence ears to listen and whether those minds can let themselves free will decide if they have the ability to really sink into the LP’s sound and inhale its pure strain of originality. The project is a mere compilation of visions but the volume it transmits at is staggering.

Download: “Sky Started Crying”, “Hallelujah, I’m Mourning”


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