White Denim – Exposion

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Local Austin heroes, White Denim, have been garnering ridiculous amounts of press over the last few years, blasting off into the world of the inter-web with raving reviews and undying fan loyalty. Finally, the band have a full length album, Exposion, for all audiences to grab.

Their live shows are known for their riotous behavior and their vocal interchanges. Packed full of energy every step of the way, White Denim has easily found their way into the hearts of every Austinite, if not every person that considers themselves in the know.

One would figure that with the backing of local production company, Transmission Entertainment, that White Denim would be sure-set for a take off into the most fruitful of places. The question for most is would their daring stage show translate across formats and into speakers across the nation everywhere.

Unfortunately, the answer is no. This will greatly anger folks from the Lone Star State, but rest assured, a poor review is warranted here. They may still own the local stages with a tenacity uncommon to most witnesses, but their first real foray into the world of recorded music is not as fruitful as one would hope for these developing artists.

First, note the translucence in the vocals. They just don’t have the passion that they do when the band is standing in front of you, and most, even those who have never seen the band live, will feel as if the vocals are lacking in something. You could call it sincerity, or even passion, but they seem hollow, as if the band is stretching to maintain the effects felt by listeners in a live setting.

Upon further listening you will also find that the band seems more comfortable residing in the soundscapes of sloppy folk rock set in the sixties. The recording provides some similarities to the live audience meandering of the band, but without the visual, or the live experience the music fails to translate. Every ounce of fun is seemingly stripped from the songs; in fact, this just doesn’t seem like the same band winning hearts across America. It’s hard to find a song that makes you move your feet outside of “Shake Shake Shake,” which is always going to be a favorite.

The question, or perhaps the wall, in dealing with this album revolves around the fairness of treating an album the same way you would treat a live show. Is it acceptable to place judgement on a band because they fail to transcribe the raw power of the live show? More than likely, it’s not that fair, but that is what one has to deal with in this case. You have a phenomenal live band, one that everyone needs to see at least twice in their life, but one that just can’t give that magic out through the powers of modern technology. But, die-hard fans will surely be pleased to hear some of their favorites played through their bedroom speakers.

You can judge for yourself by picking up Exposion on the White Denim website.


  • wow mcshockerston

    ok, ummmm. did you actually play this record? have you listened to music before that was not maroon 5 or beyonce?

    token analogy to your post:

    -the who sucks.
    -fugazi is a sell out band.
    -zep blows.
    -cheese isnt good.
    -people hate bacon and rock n roll is dead

    i guess the independent, nme, the bbc, spin, rolling stone, pitchfork, blender, fader, filter, gorilla vs bear, brooklyn vegan, and every other idiot music rag or blog doesnt get it…but this blog somehow does?

    nice post on one of the sickest bands you will ever see. you will end up being like lester bangs regretting his mc5 review, or actually, just a memory of those that have no idea what they are talking about but feel the need to project. some of the greatest music minds in the world are reaching out to work with this band. from the basement is one of many ridiculous examples: http://www.fromthebasement.tv/movie.php?number=02&artist=white_denim . Look on the left, not everyone gets on that bill.

    i give this review ZERO out of ten stars. reviews go both ways, fellas. wow, you guys are mensa teachers…and totally into local music. do your research before you post. respect in this town is earned before its given. white denim has earned it. have you?

  • Did you even read our review?

    I think it’s quite obvious by the review that we have nothing but respect for the band.

    We have been and still are big fans of White Denim, we just didn’t feel like this effort really captured what they bring in their live shows.

    So by doing our research… do you mean we should just read what other people say about the band and form our opinion based on that? It’s a record review. We listened to the album and didn’t find it worthwhile.

    Nowhere in your well thought out comment did you even say why you like this record.

  • wow mcshockerston

    sorry. i was shitfaced. disregard my rant.

    that said, the record is better than 2 stars for sure, especially when you consider the types of people that also listened to this record and reviewed it write for some pretty major music houses. very well respected folks that know what they are talking about. my opinion doesn’t matter because i am not a writer, but i love the off beat shit, the intelligence of the writing, the garage rock soul sound that many can’t achieve without it coming off as junky or lazy…its clearly well thought out and organized on this record. Shake Shake Shake is one of the rowdiest garage singles I have heard in a long time, Migration Wind is a well orchestrated jam band adventure, and Sitting is simply beautiful, especially when you dial into the lyrics. All that in one record.

    i’m all about hating on records if they deserve it, but it just sucks sometimes when the worst review for this record happens in the home town of all places. especially when you’ve got a record that sounds like this one does.

    keep on doin your thang and don’t mind my drunk ass.

    ps: white denim rules, exposion is the tits, and you know it. san dimas high school football rules also.

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