White Arrows stands at these balmy crossroads like a vision from an alternate reality: classic without leaning on nostalgia, visionary but not unfamiliar. What should be a collision of sounds and styles-ritualistic rhythm and four-four thump, synth sequences and strummed guitars, garage-y grind and airy atmosphere-is, in this quintet's capable hands, a fluidly seething whole. Call it Psychotropical pop, something both busy and breezy. Call it Paul Simon in space (others have). Call it what you will. This is White Arrows.
The White Arrows story begins with a blind boy. Singer Mickey Church was born seeing the world as an impressionistic smear. His vision was righted at age 11, but his imagination ran wild for the intervening years. His memory of growing up in L.A. is confined to smells, sounds and swaths of fuzzy color. With family back east, Mickey eventually left for NYU, and unexpectedly wound up creating his own major with a degree in shamanistic ritual.
The band consists of his younger brother Henry, who started playing drums for the band while still in high school, their old friend J.P. Caballero, previously of Dios Malos, on guitar, Andrew Naeve on keys and electronics, and Steven Vernet on bass. The five bonded over a shared love for sensory overload both aural and visual-essential to the White Arrows live show which currently employs plenty of fog, lights and visuals with hopes of making it bigger and better each tour. With only a 7-inch to sell, they toured with Cults, Those Darlins, The Naked and Famous, played Sasquatch, opened for Weezer, and held residencies at home and in London in 2011.
With the release of the album, Dry Land Is Not A Myth in June, the band has been on the road almost continuously this year with Beat Connection, White Denim, Givers, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra with no plans to slow down and trips to Australia, the United States, and both the UK and Europe to close out the year.