White Denim – Stiff {album review}

by Woody on April 6, 2016

Drew Anthony Smith

Upon learning that Austin Jenkins and Josh Block had permanently left White Denim to join Leon Bridges, I had reservations about the future of the band. As good as Jenkins is, it was Block that I was really going to miss. His chemistry with bassist Steve Terebecki always left me in awe. Their ability to change directions and speeds on the drop of the dime was to me, the trademark of White Denim. It allowed all the cool stuff that Jenkins and lead singer, James Petralli, did to really flourish.

Jenkins and Block were replaced by Jonathan Horne and Jeff Olson. And I have to say the boys haven’t missed a beat. The songs are crisp, tight and overall a good time. The band’s sound has lost a little bit of that raw edge that was so prevalent on their early stuff but it hasn’t lost its soul. And Petralli’s vocals continue to get better with every release.

The boys wear their influence on their sleeve and they wear it well. And like they did on Corsicana Lemonade, Petralli gets to show off his R&B chops with Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love). A whole album of this would grow tiresome but mixed amongst tunes that rock and boogie like Mirrored In Reverse and Holda You (I’m Psycho), it comes off as a nice touch.

Overall, I’m psyched to see they shook off the defection of half the band and pressed forward. I still think the best is yet to come for this band. And if you have the chance to see them live, it is worth the effort.

Our HearYa session from 2011 is here

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

White Denim is here

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