“I’ve never been too good at change,” sings White Lies frontman Harry McVeigh on “Change,” a power ballad in disguise from the British trio’s third album, last year’s BIG TV. And for listeners who might feel the same way, that’s a good thing: White Lies dredge familiar elements from the depths of classic British New Wave and marry them to unabashed pop bombast. At the same time, White Lies still retain the earnestness of the post-punk roots they explored in their previous incarnation as Fear of Flying. By now, the band (which performs live as a five-piece) has perfected the art of balancing polish with an edgier, synth-driven undercurrent. Not unlike, say, Tears for Fears’ Roland Orzabal, McVeigh has a knack for turning ponderous ideas into catchy wordplay. And White Lies’ preference for distinctly British-flavored dance beats makes them perfect for fans who pine for Echo and the Bunnymen. The more things change, the more clever artists make it sound like they’re staying the same.
Tonight's show at Cannery Ballroom starts at 8 p.m. and costs $25 at the door. Frankie Rose will appear in support.