Fricke's Picks: White Denim Party


Like Ike and Tina Turner, the Austin trio White Denim never do anything nice and easy. Singer-guitarist James Petralli, bassist Steve Terebecki and drummer Josh Block record in a customized trailer and issue the results in a blizzard of formats: vinyl, CD-R's, free downloads and finally a conventional album, Workout Holiday (Full Time Hobby). No matter how you get it, the band's chopped-funk delirium is effortless sorcery, evoking Talking Heads' dancing-bones rock, the dervish thrash of the Minutemen and the Strokes' pneumatic-guitar pop. Some Workout tracks are brazen ideas, not quite tunes. But White Denim cohere when it counts, in "All You Really Have to Do," an MC5-style rouser with guttural-treble bass, and "WDA," which updates the Afro-modernism of the Eighties King Crimson and the jump and tumble of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. Collecting White Denim is not simple work, but everything you get is nice and rough.

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David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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