When the Meister first put this thing called WhiteNails in my dropbox my first thought was… why WhiteNails? Because he thought there was a void of bands with the word WHITE in their name in my life? A little stumbling through my internet machine sorting through columns and videos on manicure tips solved my mystery. They are Canadian. Just like Decibel Geek‘s proud editor. See The Meister is well aware of my unhealthy fascination with Canada. CCM skates hang from my Koho hockey stick next to my hockey bag that smells like a jock straps and feet. I’ve interviewed more bands from Canada than ANY other country. Toonies and Loonies. Alan Thicke. Kim Mitchell for fucks sake. So this initially felt like him exploiting my disorder. Maybe so, but upon digging into the record I found this was more than a Canuck teasing me. WhiteNails is a fucking cool band… from Canada.
So the internet tells me they are a bunch of Black Sabbath loving stoners who party hard and live loud as hell. Hailing from Quebec, I can only assume they drink as what else is there to do between trips to Tim Hortons for some Tim Bits? That said between puffs and drinks they found their way to playing some pretty wicked riffs, that dare I say, have a Sabbath feel to them. Think 72-75 Sabbath. But lead singer Darcy won’t remind you of Ozzy. More like Bobby Leibling from Pentagram. But it’s not just Sabbath riffs and Pentagram vocals. Supposedly there are 6 guys in this band. I got to believe those cross Canadian tours aren’t done in one van.
First Trip opens with “Shangied” a pretty little slab of sludge that sonically gives the listener every layer this band offers. It leads into a track called “Done and Gone” which at first will trick you into thinking you are about to hear “Children of the Grave” from Sabbath. But it’s the fourth track “In My Blood” that makes me realize what this band can be. A cool blend of early ought’s Stoner Rock, seventies retro with a really cool modern groove. The melody harkens to the Yardbirds. Inching toward rock boner territory.
The record never deviates much from the first notes. What you hear is what you get. Which is pretty fucking good. Unless you hate riffs played by Canadians who are likely high as fuck. Then, WhiteNails may not be the band you’re looking for. Which is too bad. Because you’re missing out on songs like “Damn Judas”, “The Crooked Lake” and the aforementioned “In My Blood”. Odds are if you’re the type of person who wouldn’t like this record you aren’t reading this review. Fans of well written rock of any ilk should at least give this a spin. Or stream. Whatever.
I wish I could tell you more about these guys as it would only further feed my unhealthy obsession with the Great White North. First Trip may not be album of the year material but it’s in the mix of great new rock. They will most likely be on the bottom of many of 2018’s festivals. But they are one signature song away from the main stage. So check these guys out. Hearing this record only made me want more. I got a feeling it will do the same for you. Unless you suck.
Before you google WhiteNails it may be easier to just follow the links below. Unless you are looking for manicure tips.