We’ve always got time at Monolith for those Austin boys. This their second album never quite matched the hastily assembled debut, yet nevertheless remained packed full of ideas and distorted dis-jointed joy.
White Denim’s ‘Tight Fit’
First thing first guys whose bright idea was it to release the vinyl version in the thickest and stiffest piece of cardboard ever produced in the known World?
It was so rigid and awaked that when the shop assistant tried to put the record into the said concrete like sleeve she nearly broke it, yeah yeah so I got a free poster and all that but please next time think about the practicalities.
Oh and yes we do buy the records we review by the way, though a freebie would be nice once in a while, it gives us empty pockets but we can feel free to write how we want and with a smug impunity.
Right we got the sleeve issue out of the way so lets take an actual look at the record itself.
‘Tight Fit’ is either the first LP proper or the follow up to the hastily assembled ‘WorkOut Holiday’ LP, depending on how you see it, from the Texas power trio. Its nice to see the guys are working to the Sixties work ethic, soon they will be releasing three singles a year that don’t appear on the album just like the bands they are obviously influenced by.
In short White Denim are a blues/garage rock/psychedelic/funk/afro beat jumble of a band that manage to straddle all the aforementioned genres whilst achieving a indescribable unique sound all of their own.
A lot of reviews have already garbled on about the disjointedness and multitude of ideas thrown into the incredible thirty-five minute record, which is all true and apparent but theirs a much more refined and melodic approach to this LP.
In fact its much more subtle and calm than ‘WorkOut Holiday’, they’ve also moved on into a late Sixties/early Seventies feel though they still rock out in the vain of Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Overall it’s more subdued and dare I say a little safer.
Come with me now as we take a more detailed look at the tracks.
Opener ‘Radio Milk’ sets us up comfortably with the familiar grooves were used to form previous records of theirs. They easily slip into Sonics, Cream and the Music Machine whilst the vocals are purely from that era, invoking the spirit of Hendrix. I think the late great Lester Bangs would have loved these guys.
‘All Consolation’ sounds like Royal Trux playing the songs off Radioheads ‘The Bends’ whilst someone treads on a whammy effects pedal and gets it stuck.
Incredibly this tune emits a real soulfulness that you really don’t expect, the kind of moments you find on The Stooges ‘Fun House’, maybe more blues but still something really moving. This is one of the many highlights found on ‘Tight Fit’.
‘Say What You Want’ ventures into some Eastern raga with front man James Petralli giving it some more of that Hendrix magic, not sure where we are going on this one as it kind of filters out as soon as it starts.