White Denim


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After Fits, White Denim made a few big changes. They expanded from a power trio to a four-piece with second guitarist Austin Jenkins, and then moved out of their studio/practice space, a Silver Bullet caravan on the outskirts of Austin where they recorded their first two albums. Thanks to the new duel guitar attack and increased studio tools at their disposal, D takes a new approach, with a warmer, acoustic spirit and a more expansive, swirly psychedelic style. Luckily, the added production value (and occasional flute solo or dreamy string arrangement) does nothing to water down the band’s muscular interplay. Bassist Steve Terebecki and drummer Josh Block are still at the top of their game as one of the most badass rhythm sections this side of Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, while Jenkins and James Petralli play off one another perfectly, intertwining jazzy guitar noodling, prog scales, and rock riffs. Despite the high level of playing and stretched interludes, the songs never feel busy just for the sake of being showy. Everything is tightly structured, and melodies are of the highest importance, especially in the album’s explosive single “Drug,” which blends a raw groove and Southern Americana slack along with Summer of Love lyrics. Since the band cooked up an excellent 12 songs in only a few weeks last year (which they made available as a free download titled the Last Day of Summer), it should come as no surprise that the laboriously constructed follow-up is a masterpiece.

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