Two years ago after going through all sorts of hell on whether to give a four or five star review I concluded at the end of a review of White Denim's last full album "Fits" that the band "probably have a truly great album up their sleeve. "Fits" is not quite it but watching them seek to achieve it will be fascinating". In that time they also released the free consolidation album "Last days of summer" which you can probably still download for the price of the electricity required to turn your PC on.
Hailing from Austin Texas this band has won the best live act at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival so many times that they promoters ought to shamed into letting keep the old trophy and start again. They are an unlikely band with a bespectacled and rather nerdy bass player Steve Terebecki who appears to find it increasingly impossible to keep his shirt on during photos and a range of musical influences that are utterly eclectic. Their new album "D" sees them build on the wonders of "Fits" classics like "Regina Holding Hands" and `Mirrored and Reverse" and at last deliver that all round great album which they have threatened for so long.
D is a set of tracks, which for musical detectives will provide hours of fun. From this album you will draw a dizzying range of classic rock influences with some Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Allman Brothers, The Mothers of Invention, Gentle Giant and even Yes thrown into the mix. This is mingled and stirred into a great original stew and ends up in an intoxicating set of songs that the band describe as "Southern Prog", listen to "Anvil Everything" on here and you will understand. Move next to the standout joint track "Burnished' and "Back at the farm" which starts with an evil riff and builds into the type of jam that Garcia, Lesh and Co could only achieve live with the use of mind expanding substances. The twin guitar attack of James Petralli and Austin Jenkins brew up an old style jam freak out which will be one of the best things to grace your beat up old stereo this year. "River to consider" alternatively starts off with the best flute this side of Ian Anderson that takes a jazzy turn that almost turns into the Bueno Vista Social Club. The lovely "Street Joy" slows it down for a while with a floating pop ballad, but it all picks back up for the fantastic "Bess Street" with the epic syncopated drumming of Josh Block at its tremendous best particularly at 2.30 minutes in when the songs revs up a gear. And of course just to round it off the band produce "Keys" a country song that no doubt Willie Nelson is recording as we speak.
From the first minute of the euphoric rush of opener "Its him" to swirling bass of "Drug", the psychedelic blues of "Is and Is and Is" you will recognise an album that certainly pays respect to past masters but which in its own right sounds completely timeless. "D" is an album which manages to great fun and musically remarkable at the same time, a totally winning combination in anyone's book.