White Blood Cells' Get Going is an impressive effort
Get Going (Independent)
Vancouver is actually home to two acts called White Blood Cells. One consists of a pair of balding Irish guys who only play White Stripes songs. The other makes original music and distributes garlic bulbs in lieu of CDs. (For the benefit of all you hipsters, the CD is the physical format that music used to come in before someone in Williamsburg invented the cassette tape.)
It’s the latter band that recently released an album called Get Going. That’s White Blood Cells’ debut, but the outfit’s frontman, Shane McMillan, is a member of the long-running Wintermitts. In fact, most of the other ’Mitts are involved as well, and so is Shawn Penner, an ace recording engineer known for his work with the likes of Mother Mother and Rococode.
It goes without saying that these folks know what they’re doing, and Get Going is, unsurprisingly, an impressive effort, even if it’s not a stylistically consistent one. In White Blood Cells’ world, the churning rock of “Bad Dreams”—with its highway-star organ licks and chugging power chords—is a natural companion to the bongo-propelled, accordion-augmented beauty of the south-of-the-border lament “Ai! Ai! Ai!”. To say nothing of the rootsy power pop of “How Are You?” and the baroque mood swings of “Together”. Whatever. It’s all pretty great.
Oh, and the band really did send us a bulb of red Russian garlic. Wikipedia says, “The known vasodilative effect of garlic is possibly caused by catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells (RBCs), a reaction that is dependent on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane.” I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like a good thing. So, uh, thanks, guys.