From the moment the squalling guitar riff of ‘Had 2 Know (Personal)’ kicks in at a breakneck speed, White Denim are back with a vengeance. The seventh record to come from the Texan quartet, and their first in two and a half years, ‘Stiff’ is a tour de force of dexterity and capability.
Lead track ‘Holda You (I’m Psycho)’ set a template for an album that breathes rock and roll, but in typical White Denim fashion, the band don’t stick to one structure for too long. ‘There’s A Brain In My Head’ sees the group take on sixties psychedelia, spaced-out refrains and reverberating vocals crafting a tapestry that’s all too easy to get lost in. ‘Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love)’ is the soul aesthetic at its most starry-eyed, whilst ‘(I’m The One) Big Big Fun’ presents funky guitar lines at their most swooning. Hundred-miles-an-hour guitar solos race through the songs with a deftness that comes as second nature, whilst James Petralli’s soulful vocals soar and spiral with unrivalled character.
‘Mirrored In Reverse’ is as close to classic rock as you can get in the modern day, while ‘Real Deal Momma’ boasts a fevered vocal alongside contagious riffs, and their opener is a storming example of the band at their most anthemic.
Placing air guitar and hairbrush karaoke moments alongside twirling, hands-on-heart emotion, with ‘Stiff’, White Denim place all their capabilities on show. With a whirlwind sense of adventure and an unrivalled sense of devotion, the quartet are proving they’re capable of just about anything they turn their hands to.
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