White Fence

Live in San Francisco

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By the time of White Fence's 2013 record Live in San Francisco, Tim Presley had been issuing consistently excellent bedroom-crafted garage psych for a few years, as his flood of albums proved again and again. Before hearing it, one might wonder if Presley could pull off the trick of relocating his delicate and weird lo-fi sound to a stage without losing the qualities that made it so impressive. The question of his bandmates was important, too. Would he be able to find enough kindred spirits to follow along with his approach and not just steamroll the intricacies with noise and energy? One quick spin proves two things. First, White Fence sounds white hot on-stage and Presley really lets loose vocally, sounding much stronger than expected. The band is also more rocked-out than expected. Still, whatever they lose by bashing it out a little more than on record is gained back from the ferocious energy the band plays with at all times. They rock like crazy but still keep it weird, letting the quirks of Presley's songs breathe. Secondly, the guys Presley found to play in the band are really, really good. Not guitar-store good, but excellent at playing loose and tough, and that's what works best for music this raw. Guitarists Jack Adams and Sean Presley are especially adept at raging like mad when the occasion calls for it, but maintaining some calm in the quieter sections. The songs are a nice mix of flat-out jams that threaten to peel the old flyers off the club's walls (like the pounding "Lizards First" and the jangle psych gem "Chairs in the Dark") and introspective tracks that show the combo's range. Along with being a happy surprise, the album is a wonderful document of a great rock & roll band. Don't miss them if they come to your town!

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