£19.99 – LP & CD
White Denim have announced Stiff, their sixth studio record that sees the Austin quartet return to their frenetic rock band roots and is described by frontman James Petralli as a “high heat, high energy, good times record.” Out 25th March 2016 via Downtown / Sony Red, Stiff is both a jubilant thrill ride and joyous celebration of their past ten years – two qualities that lay at the heart of the outrageously shredding first single ‘Holda You (I’m Psycho)’. The band also return to the UK next month, where they’ll headline London’s Islington Assembly Hall and Manchester’s Deaf Institute.
Heading into the studio with an external producer to oversee a whole album for the first time – and even writing a tune with Cass McCombs (‘Thank You’) – the band teamed up with the legendary Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Laura Marling, The Staves) to produce their first truly live record. With drummer Joshua Block and guitarist Austin Jenkins now pursuing other production ventures, Petralli and bassist Steve Terebecki teamed up with new guitarist Jonathan Horne and drummer Jeffrey Olson, gaining a beefed-up rhythm section and a reinvigorated White Denim sound, resulting in some of their biggest and brawniest songs to date.
Stiff is full of high octane turns. Right from the beginnings of the Red Krayola-sampling ‘Had 2 Know (Personal)‘ to the tremendously fun ‘Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)’, every track sounds like a band re-energised and revitalised. Having previously sold out Shepherd’s Bush Empire, played on Later with Jools Holland, plus having toured with Tame Impala and Arctic Monkeys, Stiff is full to the brim with songs that now sound ready to lift White Denim to similar heights, with added influences ranging from Elvis Costello circa This Year’s Model, Buzzcocks pop-punk and ’70s soul.
The artwork – which was created by collagist Eugenia Loli – was inspired by the band’s previous album covers and videos, which Loli used as a visual template. It’s a fleeting visit to a place the band have been before, as the covers of Workout Holiday and D were collages too.
Ultimately, Stiff is the sound of a band finding their feet again and having the time of their lives. “We thought, what’s the fundamental thing that made us want to get into a van and quit our terrible jobs and start this whole thing in the first place?” Petralli says. “And the answer was loud, fast-playing, rock and roll.”