White Denim - D

by Miz DeShannon Rating:9 Release Date:2011-06-06

The resurgence in good rock music has been here for so long now it can't really be called a resurgence any more. With the folk at Pitchfork and ATP constantly plugging away at acts with such a vibe, and festivals like Primavera leading with the same, and becoming more and more popular, it seems like good rock music is here to stay.

This fifth album from White Denim typifies a sound which everyone seems to be growing to love. It's the type of album where on paper every song sounds is the same, but on listening the combination of sounds, melodies, and power makes for a pretty great album. The first track 'It's Him' has drum-rolls like something The Who would have pulled off, and is full of grizzly vocals as well as nice harmonies. It stops and starts and nicely eases you into 'Burnished' which has strange timings, heavy bass, all sorts of guitar sounds, finishing with some thrashing drums.

It rolls nicely into 'At the Farm',. I like this; it's the sign of a good band thinking the album through, and the fuzzy bass continues. This is a great fast-paced instrumental interlude and build up, with intricate guitar parts in a true classic rock way, recently done by the likes of Wolf People, where the guitar is literally singing it's way through the track. A sudden finish and we're into the acoustic guitar intro of 'Street Joy'. The beautiful vocal reminds me of Band of Horses or The Aliens' songs. It brings the heart rate back down again. This is a beautiful, mellow, romantic piece. The band go back to some thumping, jazz-inpsired drums and twiddly guitar parts on 'Anvil Everything', with nice layered vocals. A change in time signature towards the end again echoes innumerable old rock bands.

I like the quick move from song to song, barely a second, and the way the flute intro of 'River to Consider' bursts in, crazy-Jethro Tull style, breathy and broken, accompanied by acoustic bossa nova style strumming. There's yet another blend more or less immediately into the mellifluous harmonies of 'Drug'. This leans a little more to psych tendencies, and has an actual guitar solo instead of grinding throughout. 'Bess St' has a guitar riff/drum drop like you'd expect from Jimmy Paige and John Bonham with a proggy finish. The contrast of heavy bass, light vocal harmonies and acoustic on 'Is and Is and Is', and the growling vocal towards the end shove a whole load of rock power in your face at the last mintue.

Quite a twee ending to the album comes with the acoustic 'Keys', a light folk Americana story-telling piece, again restoring the heart-rate, before you have to go out in public. There's a great balance throughout the album; highs and lows, rock and folk, guitar and vocal-led - what's not to like? You only won't like it if you don't like guitar music. And that's just silly. You can just imagine how great their live show is.

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