White Male Actors
Ghosts – Debut EP
Broken Melody Records
October 20th 2014

When you’re a band hailing from a not exactly humming rock scene, in this case Strabane North West Ireland, you have to be willing to go the extra mile to get noticed. And so it was for White Male Actors. They were noticed after bravely sending their debut single “31Years” to REM’s office headquarters in Athens, Georgia. Bill Berry responded that it was by far the greatest tribute to the band he had ever heard. No small feat when you consider the vast number of groups that have pointed to REM as their inspiration. This brave act, added to the music they were producing and releasing on line helped them ultimately get signed by Broken Melody Records. On October 20th, White Male Actors will release their debut EP” Ghosts”. The trio was formed in 2012, comprising Mark Donnelly on Drums, David McGaughey, vocals, guitar, and Pete Devine, guitar. They have built a following not only through their on line output but by extensive live performances.

The band sonically have chosen for inspiration some of the best in the business, Bruce Springsteen, REM, U2, Manic Street Preachers and Kings of Leon. Their songs exist in epic sonic landscapes with memorable choruses that burst through the speakers. These are choruses that belong to a by gone era, when melody ruled. Each one of WMA’s choruses attempts to outdo the next sonically and in emotional impact. Below the surface of each lyric is the influence of growing up in small town North West Ireland which can seem removed and claustrophobic. It comes as no surprise when the young strive for the bright lights and sensory stimulation of larger cities. WMA’s songs discuss the yearning to leave the small town life, but the contradicting ache of desiring to holding on to the quaintness of small town life.

There are five songs in total on the EP, which starts off with “Take a Bow”, containing a punchy intro with a glistening vaulted vocal, very reminiscent of their idols REM. A sense of urgency and earnestness are both contained in the track. “To sink or swim, to turn the tide” “It’s a long road and you have come so far”. Losing the small town but never its impression on the individual no matter where they end up. The track is highlighted by its stellar musicality, and smooth engineering.

Soaring vocals and lovely reverb characterize the song “Ghosts”. Moving lyrics illuminate the song, "I see ghosts in the corner of my room, they never speak or move, and they know I can see them, their expression say save me, I am more than helpless “ The song speaks of the haunted emptiness of daily living. The guitar styling is very 'Edge' Unforgettable Fire era. This is the stand out song of the EP.

The inspirational and enthusiastic song "This is Your Time" A Song addressed to anyone standing on the edge of something both exciting and scary. “All the fears and doubts you have, this could be your time” Song about grasping for the golden ring no matter how scary it can be. Nice tight interplay between the vocals, drums, and guitars.
“Before the Sun Goes Down” is a song with a mammoth chorus that plays out over a broad soundscape. The song is a fine display of the many gifts the band members bring to the recording. “Before the sun goes down our memories fade but will never die.”

The last track on the EP “Mysteries and Histories” seems to be about assuring a friend they are on the right track, and to keep going. The track is alternatively an exhortation to the band themselves to keep going as they are reaching to their goal. “Why are you so sad when you can be all you want to be?” “This is such a twist of fate, mysteries and histories survive and all because of you.”

A Great Debut EP, a showcase of the tremendous potential for this trio. All three members possess great musical skills and excellent engaging lyric writing abilities. A band that sounds full of self assurance in what they are doing and mean to accomplish. Compared to the rough edges on some bands EP’s this one is near flawless, it is hard to believe this band is only two years old. They are exhibiting great professionalism beyond their years. If they had a few more songs I could see them as an excellent fit to open for U2 on their next tour. This EP deserves a very solid 8! Hope that it is only a short wait for White Male Actor’s full album.


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