Although they’ve only been together as a band for a couple of years now, on the evidence of their self titled debut, White Widow come over with all the self assurance of long term vets. Built around the emotive vocal style of Jules Millis (also a member of glamsters The Deadthings, he’s very close to Treat man Robert Ernlund at times), their effervescent, sylphlike blend of melodic hard rock and classic AOR (think Treat meets Survivor at a White Sister reunion) is a million miles away from the raucous, sub AC/DC styled rock ‘n’ roll normally associated with our antipodean cousins.
Characterized by sweeping, pomp tinged keyboards and piquant guitar stabs, White Widow sound like a Scandie rock act dabbling with a US AOR/pomp theme, and you know what, for the most part they’re actually pretty damn good at it! Millis’ charismatic vocals aside, I was especially impressed with guitarist Enzo Almanzi and keyboard player Xavier Millis (yep, the vocalist’s brother), the constant cut and thrust as they parry and counter parry adding both excitement and a heightened dynamic to the songs – the former especially is no slouch on the fretboard, and frustrated banjo players everywhere will be suitably inspired by a succession of fluid solo’s. Yet, whilst there are undoubtedly a couple of budding stars in their ranks, the five piece pull together as one to fire their songs with a real spirit of joy de vivre. Talking of the songs, the opening salvo of ‘Shoukai / Tokyo Rain’ and ‘Broken Hearts Won’t Last Forever’ gets the blood pumping right from the off, and the level of excitement and anticipation they create is maintained throughout with disarming ease as they hit your senses with infectious cuts like ‘Cross To Bare’, ‘Change Of Passion’ and ‘Shadows Of Love’ … but most importantly of all, they’ve the hooks and the melodies to trade licks with the best of ‘em. Best melodic hard rock act I’ve heard from Australia since the criminally underrated Roxus. (D.Cockett)