Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Everyone remembers their first trip, right? Be it either of the third eye-opening hallucinogenic nature or their initial time going off to some distant place somewhere. Both easily qualify as a “first trip” kind of experience, but I am here to inform you that there’s now an equally valid third option…
It comes in the form of Québec City, Québec’s WhiteNails, and their upcoming début album for Magnetic Eye Records, ‘First Trip‘. Set to be released on May 26th, WhiteNails is a six-man band that excels in creating some fantastic groove-oriented heavy rock ‘n roll, with fuzzy riffs and stirring rhythms.
Those that are present, and ultimately held responsible for what’s transpiring here, are vocalist Darcy Beaulieu, guitarists Taylor Johnson and Danahé Cote, bassist Jipi Smith, drummer Max Lemieux Beaulieu, and keyboardist Vincent Bernard.
What this sextet manages to create, construct, and eventually conduct here are multifaceted songs that possess intricacy and depth. With layer upon layer of vibrant alternative or indie rock, the group provides an electrified ethos. Both moving and malleable simultaneously, the music on these eight tracks travels an expanse of thick, stonerfied riffs and romping rhythms.
Bolstered with moments of psychedelia, things constantly exude a retro, or vintage, air about them, while never losing their footing in our modern surroundings. Some songs, such as “Shangaied“, “In My Blood“, or “Silver Linings“, might easily draw comparisons to bands like Queens Of The Stone Age or Somali Yacht Club.
Then there are the tracks where any and all expected norms or intentional, limiting tethers are tossed out and forgotten. Instead, the band grabs for the brass ring with exquisitely unique cuts like the hazy fuzz of “Done And Gone” or the Sabbathian doom of “Brazen Bull“. The latter reverberates with Iommi-like riffs while airy, trippy vocals take the reins.
Perhaps the stand-out song of them all is ‘Dead In Time‘. Tempered with uptempo timing and groove to the maximum, the song’s grandiosity undergoes massive enhancing from a guest vocal contributor, Gabrielle Shonk.
Everything on WhiteNails ‘First Trip‘ provides an enthralling adventure of exploration and eventual sonic bliss. One where twists and turns are taken, detours ignored, and a thoroughly enjoyable ride is undergone from departure to destination. Along the way, there are sights to be seen and even a temporal rest stop or two to enjoy and revel within. Needless to say, this is a fine ride not to be missed.