December 01, 2022

Ward White: Ice Cream Chords

photo: Heidi Adams

Los Angeles based musician Ward White had the unenviable task to come up with the songs for the follow-up for the much lauded The Tender Age. On Ice Cream Chords his knack for stylish art-rock songs with a bite is in good repair, dipping his toes into louder music every now and then, but never letting in the way of his crooning vocals.

White is a keen observer and is blessed with a healthy dose of self-deprecating humour. He kicks off Rumors with the memorable lines "I’ve been working here too long // I’ve been working here too long, look at me // Is this a new song, or just recycled misery?" It is a sentiment that also comes to the fore in the title track of the album, a heartfelt plea to be original and not rely on the safe, tried-and-true chord sequences. He does not suffer fools gladly, and is not above cutting them down with a well-worded, scathing put-downs. Case in point Born Again in which he states that it's down hill from here: "Ever get that sinking feeling // your best years are behind you? // Well, you’re not wrong".

All bravado aside, he also he shows his softer side, being seriously worried about the health scare that comes crashing down of a girl named Eureka in Horses. And he shows pity on a deluded character who believes that an Orgone energy accumulator actually works in 50,000 Watts Ago, with a blink-and-you'll miss nod to Hawkwind.

Ice Cream Chords is a worthy successor to an album that put him on the map after years of hard work. Sonically it is a treasure trove of smart hooks and intricate rhythm shifts. It might well be considered in years to come as part of the "Twin Peaks" in his discography.

Ward White: vocals, guitars, bass
Mark Stepro: drums, percussion
Tyler Chester: keyboards

 Ward White: Ice Cream Chords

Ice Cream Chords is released via VF14 Records. Buy it (CD, digital) from his website. Release date: December 2.

  1. Shorter
  2. Rumors
  3. DeSoto
  4. Mezcal Moth
  5. Ice Cream Chords
  6. Like A Bridge
  7. Born Again
  8. Horses
  9. Prominent Frogman
  10. Signore
  11. 50,000 Watts Ago
  12. Slouch


HCTF review of The Tender Age.

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