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"From the time they walk into the venue until the last note of their performance, I can’t think of anyone who has more of a professional approach. This is just an added bonus being that they are as talented as anyone who has ever played a show for me at Greene Street Club" - Joe Ferguson, Green Street Club Talent Buyer

Pop will never die, and yet I've had my fair share of hate mail from readers who say that I'm not a fair supporter of its ranks. An accusation of that degree requires some proof, of which there is very little. I often rave about the work of Esterlyn, Katie Herzig, KanYe West, Telecast, Downhere, Delirious, and even collectively un-cool bands like Journey (I love me some Steve Perry-singing) and Coldplay (yep, Martin's a huge sap). Haters: consider this yet another exhibit in the court case for my defense.
The War come from North Carolina, from among the herds of doe-eyed musical copycats and dime-a-dozen youthful musicians with hope but no promise, from a time where the success of a genre often leads to its downfall as it becomes over-marketed and corporately raped—more importantly, though, The War come as if from the imagination, riding like demigods on clouds of sugary melodies and shifty production, a sensual beauty that seems so natural it's hard to recognize just how calculated it all is.
Waving White is the first EP from the group formerly known as Starting Tuesday, and while I'm unfamiliar with the band's earlier work, I'm pleased to say that in spite of my inability to comment on whether or not they've progressed artistically between their previous, self-titled release, this project is currently holding my ears hostage.
Opening with the uncomfortable lyricism of "Satisfied," it's ironic to this reviewer that a song so biting in its poetry sounds so…attractive. The vocal dip at the end of the refrain is the primary hook, but the toned-down, faux-epic soundscapes hold the attention more than anything. Musically, it doesn't sound as daring or unpredictable as, say, Radiohead at their dreamiest (even when the effects conjure up a more subdued Yorke and crew), but the grip on the machinations of britpop that The War possess make them more confident than recent knock-offs such as OneRepublic, Snow Patrol, or even a few of Coldplay's iambic rock tracks.
"Thought I Had Died" falls short lyrically by relying on paint by numbers redemptive imagery all too common in the inspirational pop sector, but the piano sounds better than ever and for those of you who felt I was too hard on Nevertheless for their limp incorporation of the keys in a musical presentation that didn't quite work, check this one for a perfect example of fragility and the resurrection of piano rock.
"Goodbye, July" is the only distorted rock track in the whole piece. The verses sport some of the best melodic progression I've heard from this genre all year, and the whole thing is just so much fun it's hard to criticize any particular element. It's not blatantly outside the realm of alternative pop that Switchfoot have cornered the market on for almost a decade, and as such it suffers compared to its betters. Constructive criticism aside, though, I appreciated the subtle boost in momentum it gave the whole project before running toward its home stretch.
And it's the home stretch that makes the entire journey worthwhile. "Manhattan" is a haunting refrain on society's current "every man for himself" establishment and the toll it takes on our need for brotherhood. The hook is pitch perfect, the build is beyond climactic, and it caps off the whole project in a refreshing sense of "ahh" that forces me to overlook any large complaints. This is the kind of track I go entire albums without finding, and it's "last ditch" placement on Waving White makes it less of a satisfying conclusion and more of a "to be continued…" promise for greater days. This is only the beginning for a group with surprising talent in both songwriting and independent self-production.
I eagerly await a full-length album from The War—a band who I expect to reward my faith in them by producing an LP of depth and substance, as well as melodic punch and fun. In the meantime, there's always Starting Tuesday's debut…


1. New EP "Waving White" released Fall, 2007
-Tracks "Satisfied" and/or "Manhattan" have been spun on:
WKNC 88.1 FM-NC State-Raleigh, NC
WSOE 89.3 FM-Elon University-Elon, NC
WDCC 90.5- Sanford, NC
KSEZ 97.9-Z98 Sioux City, IA
WSIF 94.7-Wilkes Community College-Wilkesboro, NC
WUAG 103.1 FM-UNCG-Greensboro, NC
WXYC 89.3-University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC
WVLS 89.7-Monterey, VA
WRLT 100.1-Lightning 100-Nashville, TN
WXEG 103.9-Dayton, OH
WXQR 105.5 New Bern, NC
WNCI 97.9-Columbus, OH
WWVU 91.7-West Virginia University-Morgantown, WV
WRVU 91.1-Vanderbilt University-Nashville, TN
WUSC 90.5-University of South Carolina-Columbia, SC
WUOG 90.5-University of Georgia-Athens, GA
WXEG 103.9-Dayton, OH

2. "Freedom Is A Song" released Fall 2008. Acoustic EP.

3. Starting Tuesday (self-titled record) released 2005.



Music is about more than rock and roll for these guys, although their passion for the music is evident at every single live show. It is important to them to use their music as a platform to speak out for those who have no voice. Oppression and injustice are rampant in this world that we live in, and The War believes that we all have the ability to speak out against these things and bring about change.

The War formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina during the Fall of 2003. Scott, Daniel, and Ken were students at UNC at the time.

Touring heavily, The War has had opportunities to open for nationally touring acts like Vertical Horizon, Cheyenne Kimball, Teddy Geiger, Saving Jane, Will Hoge, and various others.

The band has undergone a transition as they have recently completed their new EP, recorded with Ed Cash in Nashville, Tennessee. It was during the recording process that the band began to recognize their shared passion for global justice. The War has partnered with The Mocha Club to support Sudan regrowth, and has supported the International Justice Mission which has had amazing successes at freeing sex slaves. For more information, please visit and .

They have been sonically compared to Coldplay, The Fray, Keane, and Switchfoot, and they normally describe themselves saying that they are "edgy rock with pop sensibility." This new recording that The War has just completed sets a new tone of seriousness and the future looks bright for this heavily hopeful band.