Austin, Texas' White Denim have matured considerably over the years, from a shambolic, punk-influenced trio to an experimental and often psychedelic-tinged roots quartet. Some of this growth came with the addition of guitarist Austin Jenkins in 2010, who brought a bluesy, country-tinged quality to the band that was more Allman Brothers than Minutemen. The band's fifth studio album, 2013's Corsicana Lemonade, showcases even more growth from the band with a set of earthy, often jam-oriented songs showcasing the one-two punch of Jenkins and lead singer/songwriter James Petralli. Petralli has a soulful yawp of a voice that’s equal parts blues singer and folk troubadour, and often brings to mind the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. Working with producer Jim Vollentine (Spoon, White Rabbits, Court Yard Hounds), as well as Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who produced two cuts on Corsicana Lemonade, White Denim dig even deeper into their own brand of serpentine roots rock. While the album holds together well, there are some minor but discernible differences between the two producers' tracks, with Vollentine engineering the more aggressive, blues-soaked cuts and Tweedy handling the summery, soft rock atmosphere of "Distant Relatives" and "A Place to Start." Elsewhere, tracks like "At Night in Dreams," with its fluid, rat-a-tat blues riffs and Steely Dan-esque mid-section, and "Come Back," which finds Petralli attempting to out Southern-drawl the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson, are worlds away from the fractured, arty, garage punk of the band’s debut. Instead, White Denim delve headlong into several hippie-hash ramblers and twang-heavy psych-country anthems here, including two Beatles-sounding cuts with "Limited by Stature," and "New Blue Feeling." In some ways, White Denim have always hinted at a deeper, more organic approach to making music; they are a Texas guitar band after all. However, regardless of the musical ingredients that went into this album, Corsicana Lemonade is their most down-home batch of sweet southern brew yet.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar