White Fence

White Fence Is Growing Faith

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Anyone expecting Tim Presley (of Darker My Love) to take his one-man project White Fence into a studio and smooth out or beef up the tinny, almost defiantly homemade sound of his first album will be disappointed. White Fence Is Growing Faith has the exact same recorded-on-tin-cans-and-string sound of White Fence, it also has the same inventiveness, the same wonderfully wobbly melodies and the same overwhelmingly high ratio of hooks to clunks (about 15-1, with the one being the cover of Johnny Thunders' “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory”). Unlike many of Presley's contemporaries, his influences don’t stop at C-86. They go back about two decades further as he’s no doubt listened to every Pebbles, High in the Mid-Sixties, and Rubbles collection he could get his hands on. (The highly compressed recording also brings to mind Television Personalities and the groups that Daniel Treacy produced for his Whaam! label in the mid-'80s.) The fuzztone guitars, off-kilter so-high-I-can-barely-open-my-mouth vocal harmonies, and non-linear lyrical bent are definitely from this era and Presley manages to come off as more of a natural descendant instead of a rip-off artist. This time out, there’s a little more weirdness mixed in with the sugary tunes; the helium spoken vocals on "The Mexican Twins/Life Is...Too $hort," the toy piano country lope of "Stranger Things Have Happened (To You)." Also, a couple of stoned acoustic ballads to even out all the reverb. Mostly, though, the album is burst after burst of cheerful, weird pop songs that will have you in a state of nostalgic happiness. Or, if you’ve never heard any of the mid-'60s bands Presley is indebted to, it’s a good jumping-off spot for further psychedelic discovery. Either way, it’s another very good record by White Fence.

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