"Sounds like someone is banging on a tin can." I swear, that was my 84 year-old grandfather's response after I put this album into his Cadillac's CD player last week. I'm not sure why I did it, maybe because I had to hear it right then; or, maybe just to see what his reaction might be. Either way, isn't that the essence of rock 'n roll? Our disjunction from The Man, our elders, people who try to tell us youth what to do. We feel the need to rebel against them. They don't understand this music, but we do! (no offense grandpa)
This stuff is my bread and butter. I can depend on it to keep me in high spirits, especially when I need sustenance during musical droughts. Good ol' rock n roll. Thick, catchy, distorted guitar riffs, heavy bass lines and a singer who belts it out like he means it, as if he didn't need the mic.
White Denim fits the rock bill, and then some. Think MC5 and the Velvet Underground...with a touch of that new, unconventional indie songwriting. Throughout the album, this Austin, TX trio takes on all sorts of angles: from folk to psychedelic to surfer rock, and even some sitar! But rock 'n roll remains the foundation of it all.
The frisky interactions between each instrument are captivating (hear "I Can Tell") while the eclectic mix of sounds from track to track make this a dependable start-to-finish album. Impressive fingerpicking on "Heart From Us All" and "WDA" adds to this, as does the cool syncopated groove on "Don't Look That Way At It". These things make White Denim unique in their own right while they utilize their rock roots to strengthen the group's sound.
These guys are one of my favorite finds of the year. I think they'd put on a great live show, too. Anyway, below are a few tracks I particularly enjoyed. Give them a listen.
Oh, and expect a Best of 2008 list from us in the near future.