White Denim - Stiff
Always a tough band to pin down to a genre, Austin’s White Denim have returned with Stiff, a genre splicing romp through the sounds of the 70s; taking in soul, rock, pop, and r’n’b, and it’s laced with a sense of real fun. Frontman James Petralli and bassist Steve Terebecki have swapped guitarist and drummer - Jonathan Horne and Jeff Olson are now on board - and that seems to have given the band a new lease of experimentalism. Having taken on classic rock with 2013’s Corsicana Lemonade, Petralli then took an alter ego, Bop English, for 2015’s Constant Bop, and in coming back to his day job has brought the joyousness from his solo project with him.
The funk-rock of opening duo ‘Had 2 Know (Personal)’ and ‘Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)’ sets the grooving nature of the band's sixth record from the off. There’s a real James Brown swagger before things are changed up for the Allman Brothers Band-esque ‘Holda You (I’m Psycho)’ and woozy ‘There’s A Brain In My Head’.The breezily enjoyable centre-piece is ‘(I’m The One) Big Big Fun’ with its slowed down funk, and a delicious sense of being. Straightforward rock doesn’t miss out with the riff-tastic ‘Mirrored In Reverse’ delivering classic White Denim. It’s smile inducing stuff and Stiff is the sound of a band dripping with confidence, having, and delivering, a great time.