With each passing album, White Denim sound more confident in what they’re doing, and while for some artists that would be a bad thing, for these Texans it helps them to hone their grooves and provide a strategic punch. If there is an album to showcase both their musical prowess as well as their penchant for a tune, then Corsicana Lemonade is it.
This band has gone from a garage, experimental rock sound to the kind of psychedelic rock you’ll hear on ‘At Night in Dreams’. Where Workout Holiday and Fits had them tumbling end over end, this album flies a lot sharper and to the point. It won’t seem straight-forward if you’re a top 40 devotee but ‘New Blue Feeling’ is a far more reserved, short song with comforting lines.
What stands them in good order is the ever-brilliant drumming Joshua Block, without whom there wouldn’t be a place for the range of guitar shenanigans on display. He’s been dampened, which is the only criticism you could lay on them, but songs still race off from you, making you chase the narrative. ‘Let It Feel Good (My Eagles)’ seems to tell the story of retired criminals, cranking up the fun with each section. James Petralli sounds like he’s having the time of his life as he chuckles out “If it feels good/ let it feel good to ya”.
With age comes wisdom and these boys are developing bags of it. Such a solidly consistent album should be lauded by all and probably will be now they’ve married the art of expressive playing with the craft of creating stonking songs. ‘Pretty Green’ drags a little but the bass keeps jogging on the spot, waiting for the next song to really turn loose.
If you’ve come to love the slap-dash nature of this band then you’ll be disappointed’ there is no foreign, two minute, freak-out song or kaleidoscopic prog-rock to be had. This time you’ve got to let go and enjoy sipping lemonade out in the Texas sun. ‘A Place to Start’ will show you the way with wide cymbal rides and soulful, stuttering organs.
The itchy playing is still there, but early on the itch is scratched, giving way to solid, funk-rich riffs on ‘Come Back’ and ‘Distant Relative Salute’. This album has joy in all its forms and when they say “you can come back any time”, you know you’ll want to.
Picture: Mr. Cook