[sic] Magazine

White Lies – To Lose My Life…

Oh dear. Just what the world was waiting for. Yet another Editors-type band for whom the words “Division” and “Joy” seem to follow with preposterous regularity, (at least everywhere their press officer visits). As luck would have it, I am rather partial to Interpol, Editors and their ilk. They have style, they have THAT 80’s sound and above all they have tunes. I never concurred with the Joy Division lineage mythology but that never prevented this decades’ raincoated brigade from actually being quite interesting.

‘To lose my life’ sets the scene quite nicely. You already know it from the heavy TV advertising campaign. You’ll know then that it is slick, punchy and warmly produced. It is no match for ‘Munich’, ‘Mr Brightside’ or ‘Obstacle 1’ but that’d be quibbling. The rest of the album is patchy and far less effective for it. At times McVeigh’s voice recalls Julian Cope’s high-altitude hoot but it is the strong synth lines that dominate here, pushing the effect closer to Duran Duran and Thompson Twins than any of the cooler acts of the time (Bunnymen, New Order, Teardrops)

The flaw at the heart of this record is one of authenticity. White Lies are supposed to be dark but in truth they don’t have a great deal to say. Like USA’s Heavens, White Lies well-documented polish isn’t enough to sustain their lightweight material and we’re left unconvinced of any real pain or torment.

“He took a shower in the bathroom of his penthouse”

Erm…..? Maybe these lyrics are talking to the youth of today but honestly, this is hardly ‘Dead Souls’ is it? The angst here is too well manicured, too affected. In fact, as you progress through the album White Lies begin to eschew their self-proclaimed doom-laden epics in favour of glamour and theatrics. The only moment on the record that ticks the Factory box is the trail-off for the outstanding ‘Fifty On Our Foreheads’ which is fleetingly reminiscent of ‘Atmosphere’. However one swallow does not make a summer. This band may ache to be like Editors but they succeed only in approximating The Bravery.

A little digging shows that White Lies used to be a teen band called Fear of Flying. I can’t help but wonder if they are for real or have they just repositioned themselves to suit the marketplace? (Maybe Lamacq could ask them?) Seriously though, White Lies do need to flesh out their impoverished content somewhat if they wish to avoid going the way of Furniture or Fiction Factory.