BRITISH post-punk band White Lies’ sound is not novel by any means, which makes it all the more remarkable that it is able to carve an engaging record out of such an oversaturated genre. There are naturally bits of Bloc Party, The Killers and Interpol in each track, but the band has managed to draw the listener away from the obvious influences by concentrating on delivering solid songs.
And the songwriting, for the most part, is strong. The title track, which opens the album, signals the bands’ epic intentions, starting with a brooding overture before gradually building into a classic synth-driven, New Romantics dance track.
If the band was a mere pretender, then it’s done its job well. Single There Goes Our Love Again takes a brighter and more uplifting route but White Lies’ influences are yet again unmistakable. More importantly, though, despite delivering a chart-worthy single, it did not come at the expense of the band’s moody ethos. It has largely managed to introduce variation without fracturing the overall record stylistically.
The synths are, at times, almost aggressive in nature, driving the songs ahead more than the guitars, which adds to the honesty of the songs. Frontman Harry McVeigh’s baritone is as authentic as the ones that came out of Manchester in the early 1980s.
Big TV is by no means a record that will stop traffic or have people buzzing about in cafes. But it’s a solid, dependable record that somehow manages to find something fresh in this lumbering genre.