Death comes riding the old sounds of new wave, apparently, and makes a great single. White Lie's somberly titled Death EP starts with synth echoing, kick drum and ride pounding, and the bass thumping the works forward. Then comes Harry McVeigh's vocal echo like he really, really wants to be Ian Curtis-- even if it's a little more Franz Ferdinand in execution.
The train of influences in the first of two original tracks, "Death," roll right along the gated reverb groundwork. The guitar cuts in like in a Cars' song and the first chorus bleats out a Depeche Mode-like synth line and an echoing drum break back into its more contemporary Brit-pop verse. For contrast, "Black Song" draws a more consistent line lurking in moodier Cure territory and makes no real attempts to broach a more modern sound.
The best part of the Death EP's two original tracks isn't the excruciating list of contemporaries you can drag them along with. It's the fact they can sound like 15 different bands spattered across modern brit pop and '80s shoegaze and not ruin their theft of it. Crystal Castles gives a pounding electronic club remix of "Death" that manages to make it grind, but sound surprisingly contemporary. Haunt's remix of "Death" is more eclectic, but just as brooding as the original, however loses steam in its major breaks and shifts.
The White Lies Death EP makes for a great Brit-pop single, meant to be danced to stoney-faced under strobe lights.