I saw White Arrows perform live for the first time as the opening act for UMO at the Echoplex about a month ago and instantly fell in love with this new band. Led by visionary Mickey Church, the L.A.-based quintet wooed me with their creative songwriting and energetic performance.
After a successful jaunt at SXSW, the boys came home to play their last local show until June at the famous Roxy Theatre on L.A.’s Sunset Strip. Presented by the (also famous) KROQ as part of the radio station’s “Locals Only” showcase, it was a special night, and a rare all-ages event. Around me stood giddy teenagers decked out in White Arrows garb, causing me to temporarily forget this is a band that has yet to release a full-length album. As soon as the curtain rose, the young audience were whipped into a frenzy—yelling to band members by name and jumping up and down, writhing in their spots. It was quite a Beatles-esque moment.
And the psychotropical pop troupe delivered. In its short, thirty-minute set, the five-piece played tracks from its self-titled EP and the entirety of its forthcoming Fireworks of The Sea EP (granted, it’s only three tracks), as well as a spot-on cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire.” Although I’m sure still recovering from SXSW, the band members possessed that same raw energy that attracted me so much the first time I saw them. Church belted out lyrics in his wavering voice, with hair always covering his face as he ferociously strummed his guitar. Andrew Naeve, in charge of keys and beats, grooved behind his synthesizer, getting the crowd dancing and swooning it with his angelic falsetto vocals. And bassist Steven Vernet bounced around the stage, slapping his strings and feeding off not only the band’s energy, but also the crowd’s, jumping into his sea of fans on two separate occasions.
White Arrows’ unique concoction of afro-beats, spacey synth and garage rock is what makes the group so appealing in a musical world saturated with recycled sounds, and its charismatic performances is what’s going to take it to the next level. It’s no wonder the experimental rockers have toured with the likes of Cults, Those Darlins, and the Naked and Famous, played the Sasquatch music festival, opened for Weezer, and headlined residencies at home and in London (all with only a 7” to sell!).For the next few months, White Arrows will be embarking on Europe to play a slew of festivals. According to Church, the band is in the final stages of mixing its debut full-length record, which hopefully means a summer release. And with the legion of fans the band has already garnered, it will be exciting to see what comes next for Church and his Arrows.