white denim fits
  • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 04, 2009

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If you are looking for neatly packaged garage rock, then keep looking. White Denim have some serious rock seizures on Fits, a collection of chaotic, aggressive rock. The hyper-active marble-loss might be like a sugar rush to a diabetic; so lo-fi folksters beware. But barring your fragile heart stopping mid-riff, this collection of rocking is a hell of a lot of fun to just nod and bob to, whether getting your face blown off in person or sitting somewhere with headphones (while your brain explodes).

When I first saw the word Fits neatly labeling this record of panicked garage rock, I figured I was in for a few of them. And White Denim delivers— the variety of which is groovy. Influential bits include psychedelia, funk-pop, acid, and garage; quite a thick combination for a band to engage with effectively. But White Denim seems to move seamlessly from one aesthetic to another, grinding us with distortion before switching to Doors-like pop keyboard riffs, and then back to the wah-pedal, all before baffling with a one-off acoustic-ish ballad, and then back to funk again... All in a day's incredibly schizophrenic work.

"Radio Milk How Can You Stand It" really sets the wrong tone. As an opener, it lead me to believe I was in for an almost TV On The Radio spazz-fest of chunky sounds, noise-rock with a hefty dose of chaos. Denim quickly diverges from this into a more Flaming Lips version of a chant on "All Consolation" and then into some nu-Led Zeppelin riffage on "Say What You Want." The first three tracks are only married by Denim's proclivity towards a slightly inconsistent tempo and the continually distorted bass. The other elements morph as time goes on, and the first few tracks sound disjointed as a result.

After the joyful, fat and funky lyric-less keyboard play of "Sex Prayer" (for St. Jim Morrison), the album turns again, using a discernible acoustic guitar for several tracks which sound very different than the first few very different tracks (still with silly tempo sense). The 1970's funk doesn't bite quite as hard as the earlier, more aggressively distinct noises of Fits, but it rounds the whole experience out rather nicely. White Denim continue to be a sprightly take on smashing favorite psych rock of the past and present together (with as little tempo consideration as possible). But I guess that is what you get when you mess with Texas. -joe puglisi

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