Bristol based alt-rockers White Noise Radio formed in 2014 and released their first EP last spring. This summer’s successor, Cosmos, follows a similar course melding complex riffs and rhythms with huge radio ready choruses. This EP, however, does take a more direct approach with none of the songs out staying the 6 minute mark in comparison to the closer on their debut, which clocked in at over 12 minutes.
White Noise Radio are a band whose influences are worn proudly on their sleeves. Foremost among these and on display throughout this record is a love of Tool; Mark Detre’s intricate lead style basslines, combined with Ben Lampard’s vocal delivery, particularly in the verses, are very reminiscent of Chancellor and Keenan from the prog metal giants. Where the difference comes in though is the incredibly catchy choruses, particularly on Wires where the verse slowly builds and breaks into a tsunami of a vocal hook. Whilst the verse vocals are clearly influenced by Tool, the choruses owe a significant debt to the late Chester Bennington, both in terms of catchiness and style of delivery. The only real criticism to be found here is that they lean too heavily on their influences and it sometimes feels like being pushed from one impression to the next as they struggle to carve out their own unique identity.
However, the musicianship on display throughout is exceptional. The vocals and bass have already been compared to Tool, and there really is no higher compliment, but in addition to this, the guitar solos are well thought out and used in a less formulaic manner than was present on the self-titled EP. The drumming, whilst not overtly flashy is well paced and when more dexterity is shown, such as the intro to Sirens, it adds an extra flavour and really stands out. If they can begin to add more of their own character to go with this excellent technical ability, there is a real potential to this band.