Graham Reid | | 1 min read
This three-piece from Austin were everywhere in the UK media when they were touring while I was in England and Scotland in the middle of the year -- and I kept missing them. And the more I read the more interested I became: no one seemed to have a clear bead on them and while some cited Hendrix (it's the wah-wah pedal, folks) others mentioned a meltdown of the White Stripes and the Allman Brothers.
That they were "psychedelic" was beyond question -- but that has also, in my book, come to mean, rather unfocused and not quite knowing what you want to do with those jerky rhythms, mood-setting drugs and guitar solos.
And that is my impression after time with this, their third album: bits of Hendrix and Ray (the Doors) Manzarek organ; Carlos Santana's tone in the mix; some funk-rock; Zappa fer sure; tripping-out grooves; angry post-garage rock . . .
It's very good in places -- but only in places.
When you add to that mash some alt.folk and country-funk you have a band which offers probably more than you can handle in a few sessions. And damn if these boys don't throw in some falsetto soul!
And so, mindful that Moby Grape and Country Joe -- not to mention the Meat Puppets -- once did much the same, I'm going to keep giving this band more of my time.
I don't think you'll get on the first or even the fourth hearing -- but White Denim are confident enough to make you think that at some point you will get it.
Of course, by then they might sound entirely different again.
That would seem likely.