White Fence

For the Recently Found Innocent

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After many years spent wringing all the warped psychedelic magic he could out of a four-track recorder, bedroom-style, White Fence's Tim Presley moved his operation one step closer to the real world for his 2014 album, For the Recently Found Innocent. It was recorded in Ty Segall's garage studio, Segall and live bandmember Nick Murray provided drums, and the record was mixed in a real studio. The big question before hearing a single track has to be something like "Does this mean curtains for the wonderfully oddball psych pop Presley has been churning out like a mad lo-fi scientist?" The short and definitive answer is no. The Presley and Segall team is in no rush to "fix" up the sound; at best it is mid-fi, and it retains all the intimate charm of previous records. Maybe it's a little bit cleaner and easier to imagine hearing on the radio, but beyond that there's not much change. Well, the occasional country-rock pastiches on the record ("Afraid of What It's Worth" and "Hard Water") are a bit different, but still psychedelic in a way Beachwood Sparks wish they could be. Once you get beyond the trappings of recording styles and collaborators, the music is what's left and this album is just as packed with gems as any White Fence album. Swirling, trippy rockers like "Wolf Gets Red Faced" and "Anger! Who Keeps You Under?" sit nicely next to relaxed pop songs like the very Donovan-like "Sandra (When the Earth Dies)" and the acoustic folk-rocker "Goodbye Law," and hard psych blowouts "Paranoid Bait" and "Arrow Man" clear away the cobwebs. There's even a track, the incredibly hooky "Like That," that sounds like you could slot it into the middle of the Who's Sell Out album and no one would think it odd. So basically, it's another weird, great White Fence album, only the bass is a little clearer, the drums a bit louder, and there's less tape hiss. Only die-hard four-track fanatics could complain about that.

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