Released: 27th January 2023
‘Asking For A Ride’ is unquestionably White Reaper’s boldest, most intense and varied record to date. Having spent the last three albums casting envious eyes at stadiums and arena stages, the garage punk revivalists now display a newly defined hard edge and finely honed pop-rock chops.
The result is a record that successfully pulls in several different directions, while never feeling anything less than the perfect White Reaper album. The reference points are easy to spot, too. There’s a galloping aesthetic that recalls Thin Lizzy (ask your grandparents) at their strident best. At the same time, there’s clearly an affection for the Replacements, even down to the album title, which successfully parodies their ‘Takin’ A Ride’ cut, replacing the nihilism of the Minnesota greats with wholesome and polite respectability. Even ‘Funny Farm’, which finds White Reaper at their punk best, could’ve lived comfortably on ‘Hootenanny’ or ‘Stink’ and not sound out of place – except for the fact White Reaper know their way around their instruments.
Musical magpies of the highest order, ‘Asking For A Ride’ is an irresistible slice of modern American punk and the group’s finest effort to date. ■ Rob Mair