Home > News & Reviews > White Denim

White Denim - Performance (Album Review)

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Pooneh Ghana

The late summer bank holiday is gone and the leaves are beginning to brown. It’s a time for reflection and calmness before we drag ourselves into the long autumnal evening.

Perhaps White Denim didn’t get the memo. The Texan four-piece’s new record is a ballsy leap into retro vigour, where tracks whirr and pout with a distinctive, polished ‘70s flavour. It's a sound that the band have honed over eight albums, and which may have peaked with this latest offering.

Standout tracks include It Might Get Dark, which carries a Bolan-eque strut amid elegantly arranged dual acoustic and electric guitars. This track demonstrates the excellent - if shamelessly derivative - compositional style of lead songwriter James Petralli.

Elsewhere, the drudgy galloping of Moves On recalls a less shambolic Thin Lizzy, with fuzzy, intricate power chords and elaborate rhythmic switcheroos. It suggests a band intent on updating and re-living the sonic output of heroes who may have died too soon.

Another fine moment comes on the open-hearted closer, Good News. It has a wistful, heightened musicality that is broken up wonderfully by a slurred middle section. Along with Sky Beaming, it enriches an album otherwise occupied by scratchy, dry production.

Such dryness comes from minimised reverb and double tracked vocals, which in turn give the music a boxy sound. The sound was deployed most effectively by Tony Visconti on David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and numerous releases by T-Rex. It's a prestige touch that suggests many, many hours of musical exploration by its creators.

In many ways, the consistency of the sound - despite highly varied songwriting - is the best thing about ‘Performance’. The band have refined and deployed an album that feels vintage despite being ersatz; it pays homage to and resurrects semi-forgotten bands with great love and intelligence. If there is a major criticism, it is that a well curated playlist might do the same job, but that feels unfair given the quality of the craft on show.

White Denim Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed August 29 2018 - LONDON Moth Club
Sat February 09 2019 - BELFAST Limelight 2
Sun February 10 2019 - DUBLIN Whelans
Tue February 12 2019 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Wed February 13 2019 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Fri February 15 2019 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Sat February 16 2019 - NEWCASTLE Northumbria Institute
Sun February 17 2019 - GLASGOW SWG3 TV Studio
Tue February 19 2019 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Wed February 20 2019 - LIVERPOOL O2 Academy Liverpool
Fri February 22 2019 - LONDON Roundhouse

Click here to compare & buy White Denim Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

Related News

White Denim Line Up 'Performance' UK And Ireland Tour
Tue 28 Aug 2018
White Denim will tour the UK and Ireland in February.
White Denim Post Video For Fine Slime
Tue 14 Aug 2018
Photo: Pooneh Ghana White Denim have continued to build towards the release of their new LP with a concertedly weird cut ‘n’ paste video for Fine Slime.
White Denim Drop New Single It Might Get Dark
Tue 12 Jun 2018
Photo: Pooneh Ghana White Denim have released a new single.
Imagination Is Key: How The Sheepdogs Are Keeping Rock 'N' Roll Colourful
Wed 31 Oct 2018
It’s virtually impossible to do anything completely new in the realm of rock'n'roll, especially when some of the greatest acts of all time have already pioneered, innovated and explored the genre to its very limits and beyond. Does that mean like-minded young bands should just lazily imitate their predecessors or even give up? Hell, no. They need to follow the example set by the Sheepdogs, write the best songs possible and spice them up with as many stylistic and instrumental flavours as their talents will allow.
Bill Ryder-Jones - Yawn (Album Review)
Tue 13 Nov 2018
Photo: Ki Price Bill Ryder-Jones’ fifth solo album is a dream-pop melange of shoegaze and alternative indie fed through a highly literate, if rather boring, cypher.
Baxter Dury, Étienne De Crécy, Delilah Holiday - B.E.D (Album Review)
Thu 08 Nov 2018
When Baxter Dury picks apart the ironies of the modern day on Only My Honesty Matters, in that deep, cigarette-gravelled voice, the minimalism of the instrumental beneath his rhythmic, spoken word monologue about “having a roll up” and “impotent white obvious people” listening to Florence and the Machine is almost forgivable. Almost.
Swearin' - Fall Into The Sun (Album Review)
Thu 01 Nov 2018
Space can be good, whether it’s allowing us to take a break from people or helping intrigue to blossom in the moments left unfilled in a piece of music. Left to our own devices, we are able to take stock, gain perspective and ultimately grow. It feels like Swearin’, who split in 2015 when guitarists and vocalists Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride ended their romantic and musical relationship, would back that sentiment.
You Want To Be Able To Belong: Kevin Devine On The Thrills and Challenges Of Devinyl Splits
Fri 07 Dec 2018
td#right {display:none !important;} ​ Illustration: Tom Norton “If you’re a basketball player you don’t get better by playing people you can beat easily. You get better by playing people you might lose to.”​
< Prev   Next >