Raw Power Writings: White Night Blazing Bright

On October 9, 2013 by Simon Weedn

SimonTitleBlock_Tetris

Disclaimer: I’ve known several of the people in White Night for a long time; a few of them are some of my oldest friends in Los Angeles. In fact, Kid Kevin, the band’s rhythm guitar player and newest member, helped record a demo tape of me playing drums that got me into college several years ago. That being said, even if I knew no one in White Night, I’d still be singing the praises of how awesome they are.

a0573789549_2

I liked Anaheim/Fullerton/San Pedro act, White Night, long before they released their most recent record, Prophets Of Templum CDXX. However, the release of that record ensured that I would love them. I’d seen White Night a lot leading up to the record’s release, heard them perform a lot of what was on the album, and started to notice that they were evolving past the dirty, frenetic, raw punk that they were playing when they first started. Still, finally hearing all of those tunes recorded so nicely and grouped together on one disc that I could listen to over and over again made me realize just how impressive of a group they have become.

It’s hard to pin down what I find to be especially brilliant about the Prophets record. The first few times I listened to it, I knew I enjoyed it a great deal, but verbalizing why was difficult because it’s such a, for lack of a better term, strange record. However, for the sake of this article, I’m going to try and put it into words. I’ll start by saying that it’s rare to find a band that walks the line between humor and seriousness with quite the amount of savvy that White Night do. I think sometimes punk bands feel the need to pick one direction or the other, “either we’re gonna be funny or we’re gonna be dramatic.” However, White Night never seems to pick a side, instead choosing to drift between the two worlds in a way that always seems authentic and sincere. One minute the band is singing a humorous tune about missed romantic connections with a foreign exchange student, the next they’re delivering a gorgeous ballad in tribute to the late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. The freedom of movement that White Night demonstrates on the record isn’t even limited to the topics their songs are about either. The band moves between genres and influences in their music like some people change shoes. Again, as the band does this on Prophets, none of it seems anything more than the natural progression and flow of the music. It’s almost as if none of these guys were trying to do any of this stuff, and I don’t mean that in a sloppy or lazy way. I mean that Prophets gives you the sense that these guys finally dialed into their own songwriting capabilities and all of these amazing tunes are what happened to come out. Probably the most striking thing about Prophets is how dynamically different each of the songs that appear on the record are from one another, and yet, how strongly they feel like they belong with each other as well. Though the album is diverse, it never once feels unfocused or busy. Frankly, Prophets Of Templum CDXX might be one of the most interesting and inspiring things crafted by a group of people that I know personally that I’ve heard in a long time.

In addition to a great LP, White Night has been delivering some truly stellar live performances in recent months as well. The band’s consistency in a live setting is getting better every time I see them and their presence and delivery is becoming more and more top notch. I also very much enjoy hearing they’re guitarist Frank Agnew sound check as it’s always a game of guess the riff (the last two times I’ve seen them he’s warmed up with “Hunger Strike” by Temple Of The Dog and “Thunder Kiss ‘65” by White Zombie). If you’re in the Southern California area, the band currently has a Sunday night residency going on at Fullerton’s hallowed Continental Room for the month of October. Additionally, I hear the band has a bit of a possible West Coast tour in the works to follow up their epic cross-country tour that they undertook this summer. If you’re in the mood for some truly genre bending rock and roll that’s grounded in punk rock ideals, White Night is worth your attention and you’re about to have plenty of chances to catch them as they roll through a town near you.

whitenight420.bandcamp.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Protected by WP Anti Spam