The White Noise
The White Noise continually flip the script. The Southern California quintet—Shawn Walker [vocals], David Southern [guitar, vocals], Josh “KJ” Strock [guitar], Bailey Crego [bass], and Tommy West [drums]—infuse aggressive rock with cinematic expanse and hardcore punk urgency, striking an elusive middle ground between influences as diverse as Underoath, Brand New, and Nine Inch Nails. On their 2017 full-length debut album AM/PM [Fearless Records], the group boldly bob and weave past convention and emerge with an infectious and inimitable body of work representative of their penchant for unpredictability.
“The name AM/PM is a reference to a song by the band Give Up The Ghost,” explains KJ. “Many people get stuck in the motion of living their everyday lives. The whole album encompasses how we choose to go through life. We’re creatures of habit, but we can choose to break out of that. Think outside the box. A lot of the songs encourage being introspective, self-aware, and not just doing the same typical shit every day.”
Ultimately, The White Noise push listeners to go deeper.
“We don’t want to stick to any one specific sound,” affirms KJ. “Every song stands on its own, but there’s a cohesion to the record because of how we play. At the core of everything, we’re a rock band. There are no boundaries to that.”
Since their formal emergence in 2015, The White Noise has made waves. Alternative Press hailed their Aren’t You Glad? EP among “The 12 Best EPS of 2016” and claimed, “The LA group have left an undeniable mark on the scene with the first six songs of their career.” Further acclaim came from New Noise Magazine and more as the band incinerated stages on tour with I Prevail, Dance Gavin Dance, and many others. Meanwhile, “Picture Day” clocked over 683K Spotify streams and 512K YouTube views. Throughout 2016, the boys recorded what would become AM/PM with producer Drew Fulk [Motionless In White, We Came As Romans] in Los Angeles. Along the way, they succinctly sharpened their style.
“Drew really understands the big picture of a song,” explains KJ. “He knows how to help us arrive at the end result we want. That’s why we love working with him. We got to achieve the vision we set out for together.”
Now, AM/PM codifies that vision. The first single “Bite Marks” swings from an ominous and airy beat into a vampiric vocal volley barely above a whisper before unexpectedly snapping into an unforgettable refrain.
“It’s really about temptation,” he goes on. “You’re giving into a relationship that you know you shouldn’t, but you’re addicted to the feeling. The song has more of a sexual overtone. It’s something different for us.”
Meanwhile, “The Best Songs Are Dead” gallops at full speed ahead on a punked-out riff as it collides into an arena-size chant. “Initially, I wanted to write something that would’ve fit into the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater back in the day,” explains KJ. “It feels like people don’t put the same emotion into the songs that artists used to. The best songs are dead. Bands had something to say. There’s no point now. We wanted to write a call-to-arms for that honesty.”
AM/PM threads together a captivating musical narrative. After a buzz of feedback, “Picture Day” showcases the band’s knack for a hook, and “I Lost My Mind (In California)” taps into a sun-soaked groove a la Weezer. With its chilling clean guitars and haunting lyrics, “Montreal” takes a personal turn. Each moment adds another layer of complexity to the album as a whole.
“There’s a lot going on in the songs,” KJ leaves off. “I’d love for people to listen to this album and find that deeper meaning for themselves and take something tangible away.”