White Lies, 'Ritual' (Fiction/Geffen)

Critical Mass
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Label: Fiction/Geffen

by Mikael Wood

"Ritual" is right. On their second full-length, these U.K. post-punk revivalists go about their grave-robbing business with so much humorless efficiency that you can't even appreciate the occasional death-disco beat coughed up by drummer Jack Lawrence-Brown. Were Joy Division gloomy? Duh. But those first-wave depressives offered bad romance, too, and that's an element sorely absent from White Lies' dour ministrations. "I don't need your tears," frontman Harry McVeigh declares in single "Bigger Than Us." No worries, pal.

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