Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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White Denim

  • Workout Holiday [Full Time Hobby, 2008] A-
  • Exposion [Transmission Entertainment, 2008] Choice Cuts
  • Fits [Downtown, 2009] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Workout Holiday [Full Time Hobby, 2008]
From Texas, another punk/hardcore great-nephew-once-removed band of the No Age genus--the kind who construct short songs consisting mostly of atonal guitar. This trio unlooses more than its quota of prog--tracks three and four sound like offspring of Antony Hegarty and the Beatles' white album, respectively, that met an untimely end. But get used to those songs and they fit right into the fitful whole, which for anybody who listens up is a surprisingly tuneful, typicallysubverbal roller coaster ride at Six Flags a few months after Chapter 11. Please keep all extremities within the carriage. Extremities are mother's meat for these guys. A-

Exposion [Transmission Entertainment, 2008]
"Transparency," "You Can't Say" Choice Cuts

Fits [Downtown, 2009]
As only figures, this commercially perverse Austin shred-fusion tercet put out two versions of its debut album: the U.K.-specific Workout Holiday, available all over the Web, and then the American Exposion, gone in a jiffy from the few bins it reached and not so easy to download either. I reviewed the former here and advise buying whichever comes easiest; Exposion flows better, or make that floes--think icecaps protruding menacingly from a roiling sea--while Workout Holiday is a tad longer on hooks, songs, verbal content. This slightly progger and grander follow-up bypasses such corny stuff until Track 8 begins a closing sequence of five lyrics-enhanced lite-jazzish tracks--Steely Dan for their time, sorta. Word-parsing holdout though I may be, I prefer the first half: guitar-bass-drums-(keyboard?) that grooves ferociously without funk, skank, or swing. Is this "post-rock," finally? No. Nothing post about it. A-