NEW MUSIC: White Denim Announce New LP ‘Performance’

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Those crazy TX psychedelicists White Denim are back with a new album Performance which will be released on Friday, August 24 via City Slang Records and Inertia Music. The band have shared the album’s first single, ‘Magazin’.


WG-WD_Front_300dpiPerformance was mainly recorded over eight weeks at the band’s new downtown Austin studio, Radio Milk. Once an old general store constructed in 1902, it is now respectfully restored and sandwiched in between bars and modern condominiums. Two new players were key in what Petralli describes as “a super-collaborative record:” keyboardist Michael Hunter, a “young, humble genius with endless potential” and Conrad Choucroun, a “ridiculously solid” drummer with a long stint with NRBQ on his resume. “If you take nothing else from this at least take some time to listen to NRBQ, rock & roll scholars who shared members with the Sun Ra Arkestra” advises Petralli. It makes sense that White Denim would develop a kinship with a player from their circle. In many ways, they are a continuation of that sort of group. One that will never stop pushing and taking every opportunity to shine a light on and exemplify what is truly good about Rock & Roll music.

Categorically speaking, White Denim is still impossible to narrowly pin down. There’s the glam-rock strut of ‘Magazin’ and ‘It Might Get Dark’, the duelling guitars on the low-slung blues prog of ‘Moves On’, and the sideways jazz of ‘Sky Beaming’. There are plenty of pleasingly unexpected musical moments on the title track and the easy-rolling closer ‘Good News’, along with some seriously distorted guitar. In the title track, Petralli sings, “Flashing light in a tunnel, You’re indicating a change.” In many ways, White Denim is the flashing light in a dark and crowded tunnel of showbiz glop. Quietly and fiercely finding themselves — and us — through their work.

NEW MUSIC: White Denim – Holda You (I’m Psycho)

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Here’s a new slice of White Denim wigged-out greatness. Yet again they dive into crazy psych boogie, glam pop glitter rock of the highest order. Their new album Stiff came out last week via Downtown Records/Create Control. Recommended as an antidote to the bloodless beige rock and no-soul electronic pop music poisoning the airwaves.

ALBUM REVIEW: White Denim | D

written by Chris Familton

Texans White Denim are onto their fifth album if you include the free LP they released last year and here they continue the endless cascading deluge of ideas, riffs and melodies that have become the hallmark of their eclectic sound. This album is significant in that it is their most cohesive album to date. Previously they would swing from dub to psych wig outs and mutant pop in a nanosecond but on D they present a sonically united collection of songs that still thrill and swerve madly but now feel like they are all  being played by the same band.

There is also more of a country filter on the songs. None of them are country songs per say but most do contain the swing and vocal harmonies that personify americana styles of music. That can appear in the form of the southern countrified boogie of Back At The Farm, the acoustic honky tonk of Keys or the beautiful tender balladry of Street Joy that brings to mind that haunting falsetto of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. Though there is a wide array of instruments employed on D it is the guitars and drums that impress the most. The drums tumble and explode like cosmic free jazz on Anvil Everything while the prog latin vibe of River To Consider is overflowing with percussion. The guitars fire with nervous energy through the album with noodling riffs, speed metal solos and psychedelic space jams all somehow working together in harmony.

It seems White Denim have finally found their happy place on D by dialing back the freak-outs and returning to Earth after their previous cosmic explorations. Don’t think they have gone legit though, there is still plenty of free expression and creativity at work here.

out now on Downtown Music / Inertia

this review first appeared in The Drum Media (Sydney)


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white-denim-fits-coverWhite Denim are Texan punk rock reprobates who retired to a trailer in the secluded woods and conjured up one of the wildest concoctions of sound and style this year. Just as you settle into one groove or mood on Fits they flip it, twist and change the genre blender.

Radio Milk How Can You Stand It is a spastic rendering of MC5, with its wailing detroit guitar and galloping drums that goes all Beefheart in the last sixty seconds. Don’t bother holding your breath expecting more of the same because the trio dive straight into psych indie territory on All Consolation with a wah wig-out. Its an uplifting fuzz-fest, perfect for hazy summer afternoons.

I Start To Run is the most immediate track on Fits, Its a soul stomping rave up with milk bottle percussion and comes across like a white funk take on a blaxploitation flick. Sex Prayer goes dark and steamy like The Doors on happier drugs; its Santana shuffle miles  from the spastic garage rock sounds that opened the album.

White Denim take a detour into folkier territory in the back half of the album with acoustic jams and some great singing variations that nicely balance out the earlier frenetic shape shifting. Regina Holding Hands rounds it all out with a stirring R n B, passion fueled ode to a girl that would make you laugh if it wasn’t so damn good.

If anyone can be accused of wearing their influences on their sleeve then White Denim certainly fit that bill. The thing is that they do it so naturally without a hint of pastiche or mimicry. That they can conjure up so many layers and styles is a minor miracle that would be fascinating to witness live. Don’t try and digest it, just sit back, pour another beer and marvel at the way it all fits together so thrillingly.