White Lies – “Big TV”
BY JACK DANIEL BETZ
White Lies are a sticky wicket, because their music is decent, but it’s so obviously the product of their influences that it’s hard to give them all the credit. It would be safe to call them post-punk porno, specifically of the Joy Division/New Order variety. They’re part of the Interpol/Editors crowd. Maybe it’s something listeners wouldn’t normally pick up on without seeing their live performances, but the vocalist tries his hardest (and succeeds) to look like Ian Curtis on stage, and in their press shoots (really, just go to Google images).
Title track “Big TV” is more aggressively electronic even than their previous music. It has a throbbing gated synth line not unlike early New Order single “Everything’s Gone Green.” The lyrics too, have a Joy Division-like ring, sounding, if you read them apart from the music, as if they might have been culled from Ian Curtis’ notebook entries for “Disorder.”
And again, not to rob them of their earnest efforts, but “Heaven Wait” is so heavily reminiscent of Ian Curtis’ swansong, “In A Lonely Place,” that it’s impossible to hold back. It’s certainly no blatant rip-off, but it’s hard to ignore. Echoing, almost acapella vocals are framed by pounding toms, sounding as if they are being played in basketball court.
This album is more of the same, in a way that will win White Lies few new fans. It’s dramatic, it’s decadent, it’s derivative, but if you’re a fan of the influences, then it’s pure bliss.