23 December 2008

White Denim - Workout Holiday

Woohoo! Band you've never heard of time! Well unless you're the ultimate hipster around these parts (and being fair, I'm the only person to come close to fitting the criteria). White Denim are a garage band, but pretty much a world away from recent definitions of 'garage' music. They are not UK garage which was/is basically R&B but a little bit less radio-friendly. And they are not like the garage rock bands of the early 00's; not rich pretty boys with dollops of cool (The Strokes), booted and suited Scandinavians (The Hives), grungy Australians (The Vines) or a ex-husband-and-wife team in red (The White Stripes). They're pretty authentic. A joyous racket is the best way to describe them.

"Workout Holiday" starts off as you'd expect; loud and thrilling. "Let's Talk About It" which is rather good but overly long and the brilliant "Shake Shake Shake". But after those two singles, White Denim let their weird out. Normal song structures and pop conventions are thrown out of the window. For example, "Mess Your Hair Up" is an almost 5 minute long blues jam that evolves into some crazy freakout with an odd middle eighth (if it can be called that). Then straight after on "Heart From All Of Us", they turn their hand to countryfied pop-rock. But vocals only come into the track after 1 minute 48 seconds and last just over a minute. There must be some method in this madness.

And then to go even further, there's crazy time signatures or weird effects pedals on "Look That Way At It", I can't tell which. Either way it makes for a great instrumentla track. On the remainder of the album, the band goes from poppy (well for them anyways) Hives-esque tracks to slightly softer, soulful songs to somewhat experimental weirdness. Completely compelling and thrilling the whole way through. They may not be reinventing the wheel, but they're giving it another damn good spin.


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