Album Review: White Denim – Fits

white denim fits coverAlbum Review: White Denim – Fits [Full Time Hobby]

Beloved by critics and fans alike White Denim‘s last album ‘Workout Holiday’ was considered one of the seminal albums of 2008. Needless to say, the pressure was on for a follow-up.

So for those not in the know: White Denim have forged a reputation as noise aficionados – a unique combination of Minutemen-timings and Flaming Lips-style crescendos. It’s a formula that worked well, but where do they go from there?

Pretty much the same place it seems. ‘Fits’ brings us an eclectic (and still exciting) mix of funk, garage rock and good old fashioned southern rock ‘n’ roll. Everything starts well, album opener ‘Radio Milk How You Stand It’ echoes in with jerking guitars, Clinton bass lines and schizophrenic drums. It’s what we’ve come to expect and it is well worth a listen, however, most tracks on this album sound like ‘Workout Holiday’s forgotten recordings. The standout track is the gentle Banhart-esque ‘Syncn’. It’s a slow, pulsing and fragile song that represents as a true progression for the band. It’s not the only highlight, for instance, ‘Say What You Want’ is an enjoyable, fuzzy MC5 inspired rocker.

‘Fits’ earns its own place though. While in many respects it is the awkward second album, it’s inspiring to see White Denim trying to push themselves. While they do allow themselves the occasional indulgence (‘Mirrored and Reversed’) they maintain their fractured beauty.

Matt Parker

Released: 22/06/09

Written for the Playground Magazine (Issue 2).

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