Corsicana Lemonade

White Denim

Downtown Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


White Denim’s fifth record is considerably different from their first but nevertheless a logical transition in their sound. It’s also strongly influenced by the Black Keys and any Southern-fried guitar rock band you’d care to name, but with flavors of psychedelic noise and a bar band shrug.

As with a lot of music of this sort, it’s easy to hear the homages to what came before, such as the Allman Brothers-isms of “Distant Relative Salute,” how James Petralli’s vocals sound very close to Dan Auerbach and the Beatles and Black Crowes colorings of songs like “Limited By Stature” and “Come Back,” respectively. This keeps the album from having its own real personality – if this was on the radio, you wouldn’t know who it was without being told. On the other hand, if music like this was on the radio, it would be worth your time to actually listen to the radio.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This is because Corsicana Lemonade is a joy to listen to, an energetic, approachable 38 minutes of rock that is as worn in as, well, denim, and just as comfortable. If you need tight hipster pants and a latte to enjoy Tame Impala, you need a beer and a smile to enjoy White Denim. From the country-rock of “Let It Feel Good” to the riffs of “At Night In Dreams” to the speedy bluesy shuffle of “Pretty Green,” this is a reinvention from the band and a down-to-earth collection of tunes that holds together very well.

Really, there’s not a bad song in the bunch, just a few mediocre ones that don’t always leave an impression. Only the herky-jerky “Cheer Up” is annoying, but it’s redeemed by the instrumental “A Place To Start,” a lovely electric jam session that rolls along at a leisurely pace, never really reaching on the journey and ending with a blissful smile. The skittering title track and its guitar breaks are a highlight musically, although Petrelli’s faded, high vocals don’t really fit the song; a grittier approach may have elevated it.

White Denim now fits alongside any current practitioners of Southern rock, psychedelic boogie rock and the Black Keys, and Corsicana Lemonade is a solid, enjoyable effort. It may not have anything new or terribly original to say, but sometimes you just want the jeans, the beer, the pals, the comfort, and this is the record for those times.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2016 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Downtown Records, and is used for informational purposes only.