Our top White Reaper songs list presents ten of the best songs released by an American ensemble best known for its free-spirited musical ventures in the rock and roll scene. Formed in 2012 in Kentucky, White Reaper marked its entry into the rock and roll scene with its garage rock sound tinged with some punk influences. White Reaper would later add blues rock, power pop, and glam rock to its repertoire, sporadically blending all of these influences into its songs.
However, White Reaper has maintained harmonized guitar riffs from its members Tony Esposito and Hunter Thompson throughout its records. Most of the best White Reaper songs showcase the band’s brilliance at churning out splendid hooks and electrifying rhythm sections. Over the years, White Reaper has shared stages with impactful rock and roll acts/artists including The Killers, Together Pangea, Billy Idol, Deerhoof, Young Widows, Weezer, and Twin Peaks, to name a few.
White Reaper’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
After its formation in 2012, the band went on to issue a self-released demo entitled DEMO 2012 in September. White Reaper would follow it up with another self-released demo entitled White Aura. The band’s first issue through a record label was the singles “Conspirator” and “The Cut.” These two songs were issued through Earthbound Records in 2013, a year before the band was assimilated into Polyvinyl Records.
Under Polyvinyl Records, the band has issued one extended play and two full-length studio albums. Notably, White Reaper’s debut eponymous extended play, issued in 2014, marked the band’s groundbreaking work as a garage rock/punk rock act. The six-track EP featured some songs White Reaper had issued on its self-released demo White Aura. Some of the musical gems from White Reaper include “Cool,” “She Wants To,” and “Half Bad.”
White Reaper’s Album Releases over the Years
One year after issuing its successful eponymous extended play, White Reaper was back with its debut full-length studio album White Reaper Does It Again. White Reaper Does It Again was issued through Polyvinyl Records, with the band exploring a blend of garage rock, punk rock, and indie rock sound influences. The album was fairly successful, featuring some of the best White Reaper songs including “Pills,” “Last 4th of July,” “Candy,” and “I Don’t Think She Cares.”
In 2016, White Reaper added to its lineup a second guitarist, Hunter Thompson. With a lineup of five members, the band went on to issue its sophomore studio album The World’s Best American Band. Of course, the album title came under fire from some of the band’s critics. However, anyone keen on the band’s free-spiritedness in the rock scene saw this as just another frisky way for White Reaper to communicate the desires or rather “fantasies” in the rock scene.
The album was fairly successful — a little more revered than the band’s debut studio album. “Judy French,” “Little Silver Cross,” “The Stack,” and the album title track are among the top songs by White Reaper from the album. The World’s Best American Band saw the band add some power pop influences to its signature garage rock/punk rock sound. Eventually, White Reaper cut ties with Polyvinyl Records after this album.
White Reaper returned in 2019 with its third studio album You Deserve Love, issuing it through Elektra Records. Tasked with the production work of this album was Jay Joyce, a producer revered for his work with Eric Church, The Wallflowers, Miranda Lambert, Halestorm, Zac Brown Band, Carrie Underwood, and Cage the Elephant. You Deserve Love saw the band take on a blend of garage rock and glam rock sounds. “Might Be Right,” “1f,” and “Real Long Time” are the best White Reaper songs from the album.
You Deserve Love is by far the best album by White Reaper so far. White Reaper plans on releasing a new album entitled Asking for a Friend in 2023 through Elektra Records. Some of the notable musical gems that have been issued ahead of the album release include “Pages” and “Fog Machine.” The two songs have proved to be quite fascinating giving some of the best White Reaper songs from previous albums a run for their money.
White Reaper’s Legacy
Over the years, White Reaper has proved to be one of the most eclectic young acts in the rock and roll scene. The band has received considerable success in the US and Canadian mainstream charts, especially with its third studio album. White Reaper’s energetic live performances have earned the band a chance to open for legendary acts/artists including Billy Idol, Together Pangea, Weezer, and Twin Peaks.
The band has also graced several music festivals including Riot Fest and Musikfest. White Reaper was among the various acts selected to feature on The Metallica Blacklist, a 2021 tribute album of Metallica’s eponymous fifth LP, covering the hit “Sad but True.” Here we present the ten best White Reaper songs.
Ushering us to the ten best White Reaper songs list is the stunning hit “1f.” The song is featured on the band’s third studio album You Deserve Love. “1f” is one of the catchiest hits off You Deserve Love — this was among the songs that proved White Reaper to be a radio-ready band. The song lyrics allude to a classic love story between two souls who fall in love over their shared adulation of a car, specifically a Chevrolet Corvette.
The song’s groove makes “1f” feel like a ‘70s classic rock hit, albeit tinged with some modern feel, thanks to the keyboard riffs from Ryan Hater. It is amazing how Ryan’s keyboard riff, despite its simple nature, set the pace and basis of this song’s rhythm. It is disappointing that 1f” never made it to the mainstream charts.
Pretty fresh but too enchanting to miss on our list is the ravishing hit “Pages.” The song is a single off the band’s upcoming studio album Asking for a Ride. “Pages” is enough evidence of White Reaper’s enduring impact on the rock scene. The song is an outstanding classic that finds White Reaper going a tad bit heavy yet maintaining some melodic inflections. The song features an accompanying video directed by Lance Bangs.
Lance Bangs has also delivered exquisite results as a music video director for a number of acts/artists including Nirvana, The Black Keys, Green Day, George Harrison, R.E.M., and The Shins. Bangs went on to refer to “Pages” as a genuine, dynamic, and catchy piece of art. “Pages” has been impressive so far in the mainstream, rising to the eleventh spot on the Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay Songs Chart. The song also made it to the Billboard Alternative Airplay, peaking at number thirteen.
Coming in at number eight on our ten best White Reaper songs list is the charming hit “Daisies.” The song is one of the most impressive cuts off the band’s sophomore album The World’s Best American Band. “Daises” features quite a prodigious pop-infused melody that drips nothing but pure ecstasy. You can’t help but notice the choppy keyboard and guitar riffs that add some allure to this hit.
“Daises” is among the best radio-friendly tracks by White Reaper. The energy in Tony Esposito’s vocals in this song is just remarkable! Other songs from the album that came close to toppling “Daises” off this list (but failed) are “Eagle Beach,” “Another Day,” and the album title track.
Now let’s roll back to White Reaper’s beginnings where we find some of the band’s most significant releases. We don’t need to dig any deeper into the band’s eponymous debut extended play to tell that White Reaper was ready to take on the music scene with its straightforward garage rock/punk rock influences. Introducing us to the sixteen-minute hard-hitting record is the impressive hit “Cool.”
The song throbs massive energy, especially in its hooks. It’s evident how “Cool” brings on board punk vibes making White Reaper sound like a new incarnation of The Ramones. “Cool” is not the only hook-heavy-laden hit on the EP, with songs like “Hard Luck” giving us similar heavy vibes. While “Hard Luck” felt too good to leave out on our list of the best White Reaper songs, we couldn’t help but do it anyway to create space for more diverse hits that brings out the band’s free-spiritedness in the rock scene.
#6- Little Silver Cross
Number six on our top 10 White Reaper songs list is the thrilling hit “Little Silver Cross.” The song is yet another magical cut off the band’s sophomore studio album The World’s Best American Band. We have earlier talked about the band’s ability to give us a taste of its radio-friendly hits. With “Little Silver Cross,” White Reaper explores something quite different—the band’s ability to churn out a concert-ready hit.
The song starts with mesmerizing synth tunes and some ready-to-rock drum beats, with Tony Esposito giving us a taste of his explosive yet hypnotic vocal delivery. “Little Silver Cross” is among the songs by White Reaper that showcase the band’s development in songwriting and unimpeded exploration of its musical range. Even Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day went ahead to reveal that White Reaper was one of the favorite acts on his playlist.
When the band named its debut album White Reaper Does It Again, its members were quite sure of the impact this album would have on the band’s career. More powerful than the band’s eponymous extended play, White Reaper Does It Again gives us a taste of White Reaper’s delightful blend of garage rock and punk rock sounds. Songs like “Pills” sound like ‘The Ramones meet Ty Segall.”
Ryan Hater delivers quite alluring keyboard riffs in this song. We feel indebted not to have featured more songs from the band’s debut LP with the pop-oriented “Sheila” and blistering guitar solos-packed “I Don’t Think She Cares” calling so hard for attention. However, “Pills” proved to be the perfect complement to the mesmerizing album opening track “Make Me Wanna Die,” on our ten best White Reaper songs list.
#4- Real Long Time
“Real Long Time” is yet another amazing cut off the band’s third studio album You Deserve Love. The song is a fan-favorite classic packed with catchy rock and roll vibes, albeit tinged with sparse pop-rock-oriented hooks. “Real Long Time” gives us a taste of the band’s Thin Lizzy-Esque guitar solos. The song benefits greatly from the alluring double guitar leads from Tony Esposito and Hunter Thompson, which add to its allure.
“Real Long Time” is among the songs that give Sam Wilkerson a perfect platform to showcase his exquisite skills on the bass. The song made it to the Canadian Rock Charts, peaking at number twenty-seven. “Real Long Time” also graced the Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay and Alternative Airplay Charts, peaking at number nineteen on both charts.
#3- Make Me Wanna Die
The third song on our ten best White Reaper songs list is the brilliant hit “Make Me Wanna Die.” “Make Me Wanna Die” is a straightforward melodic hit that embraces garage rock influences with prominent speed punk traces. The song’s unrelenting groove and splendid melody add to this hit some power-pop feel. You ought to love the razor-sharp hooks and enchanting keyboard and guitar riffs in “Make Me Wanna Die.”
#2- Judy French
“Judy French” is by far the best White Reaper song off the band’s sophomore studio album, The World’s Best American Band. This power-pop-tinged hit features uncompromisingly strong hooks complemented by Tony Esposito’s powerful vocal delivery. The song is delivered on a blistering tempo that allows Tony and Hunter to go even harder on the guitars. The result is a head-banging powerful hit that proves to be way above the competition for other hits on the album.
“Judy French” has its lyrics exploring themes of love from the perspective of a guy trying to get to a lady’s heart. The delivery of this song makes it feel like an ‘80s pop-infused punk rock ballad. “Judy French” has its music video directed by Brandon Dermer. Other artists who have worked with Brandon for their music videos include Panic! At the Disco, Upon a Burning Body, The Damned Things, Every Time I Die, and Diplo. The song is quite an exhilarating hit that fans wouldn’t wish to miss at any concert!
#1- Might Be Right
Number one on our ten best White Reaper songs is the alluring hit “Might Be Right.” The song is White Reaper’s signature hit off the band’s album You Deserve Love. And truly, the band deserves some love thanks to this radio-ready classic! While the band might have started its career with some garage rock inflections of acts like The Black Keys, the pop-oriented keyboard riffs in songs like “Might Be Right” brings some extra charm to the band’s classic sound.
Guitarist Hunter Thompson revealed that “Might Be Right” started out as a demo in 2018 with the song’s final version getting fully manifested about a year later. “Might Be Right” topped the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart, rising to the sixth spot on both the Canadian Rock Chart and Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs Chart. The song also graced the Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay Chart, rising to the fourth spot.
Top 10 White Reaper Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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