WHITE DENIM – American band
White Denim are a four piece Alternative Indie Rock band from Texas, USA. The group comprise of James Petralli (voclas/guitar), Steve Terebecki (vocals, bass), Jonathan Horne (guitar) and Jeffrey Olson (drums). Their music is a unique blend of various genres that grab at the senses on first intriguing listen. The band have released 6 albums to date as well as various E.P.’s and a “Tour L.P.” The band released a couple of E.P.’s in 2007, self releasing their first “Let’s Talk About It” and created a great UK following after their first album “Workout Holiday” was released. This prompted the band to release “Exposion” as their first U.S. album which consisted of previous tracks re-worked and re-recorded.
The band’s influences are quite eclectic if their music is anything to go by. There are hints of 60s Psychedelia, Classic Rock of the 70s and 80s Rock and Electronica. I’m surprised this band aren’t globally everywhere as their brand of weird and creative Rock is quite unusual.
I first caught the band on the YouTube video for he song “Pretty Green”, in a hilarious and crazy video, the song is incredibly catchy, with hints of 70s Rock and almost ZZ Top Blues and also a hint of 90s Grunge. Its such a great song and got my attention to find out more about this band who obviously have a sense of humour as well as immense talent!
The debut album arrived in 2008 entitled “Workout Holiday”. It was raw, experimental but had this great pure, live sound. Hendrix’s style is prominent on the opening track “Let’s Talk About It” which is Psychedelic 70s and 80s Punk combined. The legendary guitarist also seems to have influenced “All You Really Have To Do” while there is a straight out Classic Rock vibe on “I Can Tell”. This first album the influence covers the 3 main decades of Rock, the 60s Pop scene is there on “Sitting” while there is even a B-52’s sound on “Shake Shake Shake”.
Second album “Fits” was released in 2009 and has the Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque “Radio Milk How Can You Stand It” and “I Start To Run” while the Progressive/Psychedelic Rock is at the fore on the Led Zeppelin/Deep Purple hybrid “Say What You Want”. There have been a number of weird instrumental fill-in numbers on the previous albums but “Sex Prayer” is a grea atmospheric, experimental Punk track. Two Acoustic style numbers “Regina Holding Hands” and “I’d Have It Just The Way We Were” (not the version on the following album) are really very nice tracks and my favourites.
The prolific output of the band continued the following year as they released the album “Last Day Of Summer”. This set of tracks was a collection of songs the band have written since 2006, seemingly to get these ideas out of their system. There’s nothing worse for songwriters to have songs and think “what if..”. As expected there are a few influences floating around this record. The opening track “I’d Have It Just The Way We Were” sums this up, with its Soul and R & B vocals over a Psychedelic experimental backing track, it sets you up for a misture of styles. “Tony Fatti” is an 80s New Wave Pop Rock song which is one of my favourites on the album and “New Coat” is a bouncy, cute little number reminiscent of The Cardigans or late 80s/early 90s pure Pop. There are again hints to Smashing Pumpkins (Through Your Windows” and “Our Get”), The Monkees (“Champ”) and 70s Glam Rock (“Some Wild Going Outward”). A great set on the whole, a wide range of styles and makes you wonder if this was “just a set of ideas bouncing around” as the band proclaimed, then the best is yet to come!
In 2011 the band released fourth album, “D” seems mainly seemed to be a 60s Alternative inspired set. There’s The Monkees’ darker song style on opener “It’s Him!” and “Burnished” while a hybrid of The Doors and The Kinks arises on “Drug”. Ray Davies and the boys also get a nod on “Is And Is And Is”, this time combined with some Led Zeppelin. Its not all 60s exclusive, as I can hear a Beck influence on the experimental Psych-Rock mash ups “Anvil Everything” and “River To Consider”, while sweet, whimsical ballad “Street Joy” wouldn’t be misplaced on Smashing Pumpkins hitlist. This is a more broad and accomplished album, but still the raw, live sound keeps it pumping.
Fifth album, “Corsicana Lemonade” entered the music fray in 2013 and this, in my opinion, should have put the band in the big time. Its a great mix of genres, eras and influences that make it a really great album. The album opens with a T-Rex Glam Rock style on “At Night In Dreams” and the cool Marc Bolan vibe continues in a more funky vein on the title track. Even David Byrne’s Talking Heads get a homage in “New Blue Feeling” while “Come Back” has this great Country twang but is primarily Rock Funk. There is also a slight Country Pop feel on “Let It Feel Good (My Eagles)”. This album includes the aforementioned favourite track of mine, “Pretty Green”. A great album!
This year the band released “Stiff”, which has such a feel good vibe to it and is a brilliant album. Its like this was the album the band have been building up to. It still has the energy and live feel of the previous albums but the arrangements are far more accomplished and gives the tracks a more polished sound. The album opens with “Had 2 Know (Personal)” which is pure radio friendly Pop Rock similar to the Alternative early 80s bands. “Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)” is a cool track which is one of my favourites, it has this raw edge to it with a super funky Soul sound, not unlike Stevie Wonder. Mr Wonder also seems to be present in the band’s mind on “Take It Easy (Ever Lasting Love)” and the Motown sound continues on “(I’m The One) Big Big Fun” which Pop Soul at its best. The band have come of age and are encompassing a wide range of musical sounds. The Classic Rock of “Holda You (I’m Psycho)”, the 80s Rock of “Real Deal Momma” and the weirdly wonderful T-Rex/The Sweet combination on “There’s A Brain In My Head”. Super album by a very creativ and inventive band. Should be a household name by now.
Check out some of these tracks from this great American band White Denim! –
“Let’s Talk About It”, “All You Really Have To Do”, “I Can Tell”, “Sitting”, “Shake Shake Shake”.
(From “Workout Holiday”).
“Radio Milk How Can You Stand It”, “I Start To To Run”, “Regina Holding Hands”, “Say What You Want”, “I’d Have It Just The Way We Were”.
“Tony Fatti”, “New Coat”, “Through Your Windows”, “Champ”, “Some Wild Going Outward”.
(From “Last Day Of Summer”).
“It’s Him!”, “Burnished”, “Street Joy”, “Is And Is And Is”, “Drug”, “Anvil Everything”.
“Corsicana Lemonade”, “At Night In Dreams”, New Blue Feeling”, “Pretty Green”, “Let It Feel Good (My Eagles)”.
(From “Corsicana Lemonade”).
“Had 2 Know (Personal)”, “Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)”, “I’m The One (Big Big Fun)”, “Real Deal Momma”, “There’s A Brain In My Head”.
PREVIOUS BLOG – MOOSE BLOOD/XIXA/MEILYR JONES/SUNFLOWER BEAN NEXT BLOG – ANNA MADSEN/FERRIS/FRANKI LOVE/LYERR