White Denim

White Denim


Workout Holiday

Not since ‘Steady, As She Goes’ fooled the world into thinking The Raconteurs might be the outlet for Jack White’s easy-on-the-ear FM rock pleasures has a debut single been as misleading as White Denim’s.

Released in early May. ‘Let’s Talk About It’ was a shouty and showy garage-rock steam train that pegged the Austin, Texas trio between the edgy commercialism of The Hives and Devo. Perhaps the drum and sand-shaker breakdown near the end should have been a clue as to exactly which outer realms of song structure they were intent on heading to. ‘Less stomp, more skronk’ seem to be the watchwords of ‘Workout Holiday’, as while there are still patches of monster MC5 riff bravado (‘Darksided Computer Mouth’, or current single ‘All You Really Have To Do’) there’s an impressive amount besides. Songs begin fully-formed before spiralling into abstract drum loops punctuated by slicing guitars and vocal drones (‘Mess Your Hair’).

At other times, the most perfect moments of Small Faces psychedelia or Velvet Underground basement pop will emerge from the most unlikely formless squalls (‘Sitting’; ‘Heart From Us All’). Occasionally, the fleeting snatches of choruses are as frustrating as they are enticing: ‘Shake Shake Shake’ is a ’60s surf song filtered first through Johnny Thunders, then Mogwai; ‘WDA’ is Sonic Youth’s ‘Teen Age Riot’ without any words. All told, though, there’s definitely still a lot to be said for leaving them wanting more.

Krissi Murison