Being a buzz band at annual industry bunfight SXSW can be both a blessing and a curse. For around a month, you're the greatest thing on Earth. By the time you release your debut album a fair bit of interest has been accrued, it's tailed off a tad but the first few months in your new exalted position has seen festivals clamber for you and before you realise it, you're yearning to get back and write a second album which, when it's eventually released, is about as welcome as a Piers Morgan chatshow. Just ask Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Or even Tapes N Tapes.
That's not to say it's all misery and a career with the lifespan of ice cream. Consider White Denim, for instance. A cursory look suggests a threesome of miscreants on vague nodding terms with tunes. In reality, this Austin trio knit such influences as MC5 and Devo into a thrilling 21st century concoction, with the testifying energies of the Blues Explosion as if fronted by Antony & The Johnsons.
It's not all so that simple though; throughout Workout Holiday you're taken into dub areas, The Sonics and Randy Newman. This is to be expected from a band who cite Pharoah Sanders, The Monkees, Hank Williams, Paula Abdul and Alexander Scriabin as among their influences. Produced themselves on a diet of cigarettes, barbeque ketchup and tequila, the record was recorded in a studio built inside a silver 1940s Spartan trailer, parked in the middle of the woods outside of Austin.
Mostly it sounds utterly mental, as most great records do. But it's the addition of fantastic tunes such as opener Let's Talk About It, Shake Shake Shake and the superb Darksided Computer Mouth, that transforms White Denim from blogosphere fodder to a band that you really want to keep your eye on. On this evidence alone, all signs point to a bright future, one that outlasts the buzz band albatross tag. --Ian Wade
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