Band of the Day

2012.04.28

White Denim

Psychedelic rockers combine fiery swagger, retro leanings and gorgeously atmospheric melodies
He's stringing himself on up to your front door. You've been a wall of ideas about the rich and the poor. With his car horn talk, you make your focus break. When you're left to yourself you're going anyway
lyrics from Street Joy

Hailing from Austin, Texas, White Denim is a four person rock band that draws influences from blues, punk, soul, jazz, and psychedelic rock and employs experimental structural and recording techniques. The group began recording under the name White Denim in 2006 and consisted of Joshua Block (Drums) James Petralli (Guitar Vocals) and Steve Terebecki (Bass). Let’s Talk About It, which the band released themselves in 2007, was the groups first EP. The band recorded songs while on tour later in 2007 and released them in the Workout Holiday EP in the same year. In 2008, White Denim released it’s first full length album titled Exposion followed by the sophomore effort Fits in 2009 which was released on Downtown Records in the US. The group then added Austin Jenkins (Guitar) and recorded and self-released Last Day of Summer. More recently, the group’s fourth studio album, D, was released again on Downtown Records in 2011 and they opened for Wilco on their west-coast tour.

Austin, Texas psych-rockers White Denim used to practice and record out of a silver bullet trailer parked on the dusty outskirts of the Texas capital. Anyone who happened by was probably in for a pretty surreal experience as waves of crackling, fuzzed-out guitar and manic beats escaped from the retro aluminum beast. They've since abandoned their quirky practice space, but White Denim has gotten significantly more psychedelic -and compelling- on their 2011 album D. If White Denim were rock super heroes they'd burst out of a 1960s garage, guzzle some 70s rock pixie sticks for fuel, then all zoom away on motorcycles after zapping the bad guys with guitar solos.

Unlike many of their contemporaries outside of the jam band circuit, White Denim aren't afraid of guitar solos or jamming out, wielding wah wah pedals and fuzz with clear fondness, yet being careful not to overdo it. Tracks like “It's Him!” and “Burnished” are energetic psychedelic romps that echo classic 60s groups like Moby Grape, but add more rock braggadocio with the blazing lead guitar and primal drumming.

Other tracks, like “Anvil Everything” explores walls of sound made up of quick fire, repeating guitar lines and stampeding drums. Lead singer James Petralli provides a pretty gorgeous foil to the busy instrumentation with whimsical vocal melodies that sound an awful lot like Radiohead's Thom Yorke.

Intriguingly for such an high energy band, some of the best tracks on D are the most chilled out. “Street Joy” is anchored by lumbering acoustic guitar and Petralli's voice sweeping up and down hypnotically. “Keys” is an acoustic country stroll with a twilight melancholy to it augmented by luxurious strings and a killer chorus. White Denim is a band that's got versatility down, nailing various moods, but always pumping the music full of passion.