10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Denim - A "Southern prog" explosion
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...
Published on 8 Jun 2011 by Red on Black
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars White Demin "D"
Just purchased White Demin's latest offering "D" and although this is a great sounding CD it doesn't compare to their latest live stuff which I viewed on YouTube (which lead me to buy the CD). To me there is a lack of feel and sounds maybe a little too cluttered for a better word.
Published 20 months ago by Goulhoy
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Denim - A "Southern prog" explosion,
This review is from: D (Audio CD)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.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment..,
This review is from: D (Audio CD)Wow. I must admit that I wasn't grabbed by White Denim's previous Lp 'Fits', and didn't have high hopes for this, but I was completely broadsided by just how wonderful this collection of songs is. It is the most enjoyable, life-affirming album I've heard this year.
There is too much going on to include all the musical references on offer here, but to me it sounds like Stephen Stills' Manassas playing Little Feat with a spoonful of Led Zep, Yes and Frank Zappa thrown in for good measure, but all played with an infectious punk energy and topped-off with melodies you can hang your hat on.
The musicianship is breathtaking, being perky, tight and busy, with the bass player in particular shining brightly throughout like a cooler Chris Squire.
If there's any justice this will be at the top of the end-of-year album lists, leaving the big hitters trailing in its wake.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't recommend this enough,
This review is from: D (Audio CD)'D' is an absolutely blinding album. One of those rare ones that has enough hooks to make you like it almost immediately, but is also quite complex with brilliant song dynamics and requires several listens to really appreciate. It's a different league from 'Fits' which, whilst it was a good album, somehow didn't quite click in places.
The 70's psych comparisons are valid but the sound has been brought up to date with a dose of punk energy, sounding fresh and original. The comparison which most struck me though, (and I'm surprised noone's mentioned it yet) is the Meat Puppets. Many of the little guitar runs and chord progressions really reminded me of their stuff. I should probably add that I'm not a massive Meat Puppets fan and would take this record over their stuff any day.
White Denim have got better with every album but this is their first truly great one. If enough people got to hear it I'm pretty sure it would appeal to quite a wide audience too. Buy, you won't be sorry.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a find,
This review is from: D (Audio CD)Saw this band at Leeds festival this year & was blown away. Bought the cd on return - have had it on loop ever since. Great depth to the songs. Shades of 70's prog brought bang up to date.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coherent,
This review is from: D (Audio CD)Brian Wilson and his Beach Boys once sang that 'they weren't made for these times.' After hearing the third long player from White Denim (to call it a CD seems out of place) you get the feeling they would empathise with that. This is an album straight out of the 70's. Big guitars and drums and lots of instrumental breaks with duelling solo's and Fleetwood Mac style guitar sound. In fact its when the big sounding Burnished goes seamlessly into the instrumental At The Farm (Jethro Tull is really a touch point here) that you realise where this gains over the previous effort Fits. Its an album. Coherent and whilst with lots of influences and sounds it is of a piece. That's the real development.
The outright rocking tracks are complimented by a few acoustic driven numbers. Street Joy is plaintive and when we break into the solo it is reminiscent of a more straight forward Pink Floyd number. It is only when you reach Anvil Everything that you are reminded that this is an album from 2011. It starts off sounding absolutely of this moment, returns to a 70's guitar experience and then morphs again into a Led Zeppelin like experience with some of their outro's.
River to Consider is when you fully understand that this band wants to flaunt the 70's references without any shame. The flute is Jethro Tull, the percussion is almost Caribbean and yet it works. Drug works well as a rock number with the sound of an upbeat Beta Band that has had the Life On Mars treatment.
Sometimes the instrumentals almost feel too self indulgent. I do feel Bess St pushes this to its limits. Its starts off at break-neck speed and evolves into the instrumental I have already mentioned. Lots of guitars and drums pick the pace of this up as it ducks and dives about.
Is and Is and Is rolls into view with acoustics, a low thrumming bass line and a breathy vocal. You know from the start that it will not end this way and sure enough it explodes into a Led Zep style cry.
That the album finishes with a country style closer is a surprise. And Keys is a pretty good slab of country twang. I am not very fond of country (just like I dislike many of the influences here) but I like this.
Once it dies down you reach for the controls to return to track one, feeling the itch you used to feel when flipping the vinyl from side two to side one. Its at this point you realise that this is going to take some more listens, some real time and will still give you that retro feel. Its not stopped doing that for me yet. A warm feeling rock album that is as joyful as it is retro.
5.0 out of 5 stars Denim that doesn't wear out!,
This review is from: D (Audio CD)Wow - some of the reviewers here are grasping at some mighty bands in an effort to describe this platter. Just to confuse things further can I add my 10d's worth.
The Wishbone Ash comparison is fanciful - seemingly based on the fact that there may be two guitars playing at the same time. Might as well head for the Judas Priest route (no! this is just plain silly). Best description for the uninitiated, would be late period Magic Band. Re the allusion to Yes - this presumably refers to the mind juggling effect that Steve Howe has decided to pop in for a bar or two. No bad thing - however that does not make this "Close to the Edge". On that subject, the allegation of Southern Prog is baffling. At a push I might agree to "Underground" (in the early 70's muso sense possibly but Prog? Never in a month of ELP's.) Certainly the band have a an adept way around time signatures and can even play fast AND slow in the SAME song. There are more that two chords at work here - roll out the Persian Rug and pop the candles on. I personally spotted a McCartney bass-line or was it Lemmy limbering up? Finally, the assertion of Jethro Tull - I kid you not. There is NO flute repeat No flute. Granted, at least two songs here have driving bass/drum combo thing which bears a passing resemblence to Blodwyn Pig on a good day. I have always been an strong advocate of the Pig, and would welcome any fellow devotees into the litter.
All in all, everybody agrees this is a damn fine record which just about hits every spot immaginable. [I should say that I bought this through an olde fashioned record emporium however Amazon do offer this at a very competitive price.]
I commend this CD to the House.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful album,
This review is from: D [VINYL] (Vinyl)I delayed getting this for quite a while, wish I hadn't ; it's a stunning album. To put it in context I love progressive rock and this fits really well into that genre. The songs are good, musicianship excellent and there are some really creative arrangements. The album gets better with repeated plays just like a really good album should.
Can't wait for the next if it's anything like this.
5.0 out of 5 stars difficult ? maybe. great ? yes !,
This review is from: D (Audio CD)I almost did not buy this cd because people wrote it was difficult music, chaotic, prog rock jamming and lacking melody. Have I changed or has the world changed, I bought it anyway and I must say, i am enjoying it. Just good music, plenty of melody and the singer has an enjoyable voice. Very interesting changes of pace and you can tell they are good musicians. This cd was praised by the press and found on many end of the year lists and I could not agree morez
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!,
This review is from: D (MP3 Download)Probably my favourite album of the past 12 months, I can not recommend it highly enough.... Slightly psychedelic rock, slightly progressive rock, slightly southern rock - all good! Give it a few listens, it's fantastic!
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloody gorgeous.,
This review is from: D (Audio CD)This album isn't my usual sort of thing, but I love it. Swirling, noodling, widescreen and altogether epic psychedelia, with high energy, country, prog and punk inflections and a funky backbone. Every instrument is played to perfection, the lyrics are mad, and creativity abounds. The mad carnival-psych of "River to Consider" and the wild energy and Eastern drones of "Back at the Farm" attest to this - and are fantastic. It's just a joy to listen to.
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