White Wine – Where Is My Line? (2016)

Having not heard this band before, I was pleased by this release from White Wine. Its originality strikes a refreshing chord with me. The song opens with an organ of some kind – maybe a Hammond organ – and then a deliberate false start, which you don’t tend to hear a lot these days. The main sound to me is the organ which sustains for the entire song. Everything else seems to cling to it and allows the drums to roam and do as they please, not necessarily providing the beat, but almost as if they were a different instrument taking the lead.

There are numerous electric drum sounds and I can’t tell if it’s a live kit or if they are drum patches or a drum machine. The bass doesn’t really do anything special, but then it doesn’t really need to, allowing everything else to build on top of it. There is evidence of a few organs and synths, and some impressive cuts in terms of the song’s production and editing. The song sounds like what a late ‘60s track might have sounded like if it had been recorded with today’s technology.

Of course, back in the day those kinds of effects would have been done with tape loops and not with the computer, which most people choose to work with today. It sounds more exploratory than most pop songs I hear, like it’s delving into the unknown and those minor chords really set the scene. The guitars provide a nice rhythm and gel with the keyboards, but the repetitive scales the guitarist plays after almost every verse become annoying very quickly.

The singer has a great voice and it almost slurs in places, a bit like how Dylan used to sing, angrily expressing the sentiments of the song. In each line he wails and you get the feeling that the singer is really getting some shit off his chest and enjoying it too! Yet, for me the song’s lyrics are not really accessible and don’t inspire me to remember them and I think that’s because the melody isn’t interesting enough. The lyrics, deliberate in their diction, really cut through and punctuate the song as he spits out the lyrics. You can almost imagine standing in the mosh pit at one of their concerts wiping the saliva from your face, like someone watching the late, great Joe Cocker. His voice sounds great with or without the various effects that his voice has been coated in, and this coating becomes more audible as the song progresses.

The lead singer’s voice generally reminds me of Brandon Flowers or Bono and the song sounds very dark in mood, though the dark nature of the song lends itself more to Brandon Flowers (or The Killer’s work) than U2’s music. The structure is simple and conventional and it doesn’t go anywhere that exciting, but then, like I say, it is more experimental than anything you might hear in popular music.

Sonically, it has a great depth and a multitude of various instruments providing the backdrop to the song’s melody. It’s good, but I like music to lift me or take me somewhere a bit different – preferably with a bit more melody and less of a rant.

 

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