The guys in White Reaper might not think much of their signature dueling-guitar sound, but for fans who haven't heard anything like it since the '80s, it's more than just a novelty.
Whether the electric guitar is essential to rock music or not is debatable, but the instrument's role has changed a lot over the past few decades. Nowadays, the guitar is more an icon of the genre than an essential part of the sound of what we hear on alternative and active rock radio.
But that's what makes White Reaper's lead guitar double-down so exciting. The Louisville, Kentucky-based five-piece makes honest indie/garage rock that relies on both guitarists for maximum instrumental ear candy with unison bends and modest but tasteful pentatonic harmonies.
Axemen Tony Esposito and Hunter Thompson tell Q104.3's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke the guitar has always been featured in music they love — whether it's Boston, KISS, Randy Rhoads-era Ozzy Osbourne, Thin Lizzy or The Cars — so featuring the instrument in their band feels to them more an inevitability than a creative masterstroke.
"When we started the band, we were listening to all kinds of classic rock," Esposito says. "It seemed to be that everybody was doing that. It's really fun to play live, stuff like that. And also, people love it! ...It's wild. In the new song ['Might Be Right'] there's ... just those two bars and everyone's like, 'Oh my God, it sounds like Thin Lizzy! It's awesome!' And the rest of the song is kind of just bass and vocals."
The response can get pretty over-the-top, as keyboardist Ryan Hater points out, "It's like people had never heard that before (Laughs). ... I guess it has been a while."
Watch the full Out of the Box interview in the video player above.
Check out the official music video for White Reaper's "Might Be Right":