Album Review: White Denim – Stiff

White Denim is a rock band from Austin, Texas. Their music has been influenced by psychedelic rock, blues and jazz music. Well-known for their fantastic live performance, and their incredible bass-player, the band has set the stage for quite some time. I will be reviewing their latest album, Stiff.

The first time I saw White Denim was during Lowlands Festival, as my dad and I were casually walking home after the last performance of the day, or so we thought: the Arctic Monkeys concert. However, we passed the stage where White Denim was playing, and decided to stick around just to get a glimpse of this relatively interesting band. Coming closer to the stage we were immediately entranced by the fascinating bass playing of Steve Terebecki. The waves of psychedelic rock were quite drowsing and we soon found ourselves in a musical trance – one of the best trance-types, if I may say so.

Now, 3 years later, the band has moved on and released their sixths album: Stiff. Interestingly, some of the songs feature clearly the psychedelic feel of White Denim’s  album, D. Others, however, have gone in a totally different direction, such as Take it Easy (Ever After Lasting Love). This song almost sounds like it could be on a Marvin Gaye record.

Thank You, the final song of the album is quite reminiscent of David Bowie’s Fame and again Marvin Gaye coupled together. Perhaps it is a secret tribute to the famous artist’s legacy? Then again, other songs return to White Denim’s bluesy, psychedelic rock origins, such as Mirrored in Reverse and Holda You (I’m Psycho). In all of the songs, the strange rhythms and rhythmic switches provide for an interesting listening experience.

The fifth album of White Denim, Stiff, features just enough of the psychedelic influences that made White Denim’s sound before, but also steers the band in a slightly mellower direction. The band keeps reinventing itself, which is a beautiful thing for a band to do. Keep it up White Denim!

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