White Denim ‘Corsicana Lemonade’ (Downtown)
Just like Black Keys, its taken White Denim a long time to achieve mainstream acclaim. They have a brimming back catalogue with their latest album, Corsica Lemonade, being their sixth release. Harley Cassidy reviews it for us.
Some bands will churn out album after album, sticking to the same formula and ultimately wallowing in their own carbon copies as they get stuck in a rut as the music industry ever-changes around them. Others, though, use their discography as a notation of their progression and develop this to either better themselves or to reach a wider market. This is exactly what Texan quartet White Denim have done.
Let’s take you back to December 2011. Black Keys have just released El Camino, their biggest commercial success to date. An album filled with catchier, ballsier and harder-driving tunes than their previous six releases, they let go of their previously controlled chaos, sharpened up aesthetically and delved into the world of anthemic choruses. If some say that White Denim are riding this very coat-tail, they are almost certainly right.
White Denim were virtually unheard-of until a certain Spotify advert began promoting Corsicana Lemonade between every other listen. Most Spotify adverts are really fucking annoying or play such dispensable shit that you either have to turn the volume to mute or sigh exasperatedly as you wait for the rest of Donna Summer’s Greatest Hits to resume (or is that just me?).
Either way, with a song like Pretty Green to attract your attention, White Denim wouldn’t be basking in ambiguity for long. James Petralli’s southern-fried vocals are the main attraction on this LP – whether he’s playing around with raw, Caleb Followhill-style boogie rock or toning it down to a glam rock lull, Petralli is a master at bending a song to his whim.
Corsicana Lemonade is an easy listen, oozing charisma and style with all the right finishing touches to keep the critics at bay. From the 60s, soul-tinged Come Back to the fizzy rock of At Night In Dreams right down to the Foals-style jangle of the title track, Corsicana Lemonade stretches itself wide indeed.
Keeping it tight on a mainly blues progression and focusing more on the rhythm of the music as opposed to the messages contained within it, White Denim have ultimately dropped certain characteristics of their music in order to polish up this album. Whilst this might be a bad thing, Corsicana Lemonade is too refreshing and tasty a drink to really complain too much about it.
All words by Harley Cassidy. More of her writing on Louder Than War can be found by visiting her authors archive here.