Thursday, April 16, 2015

White Hills : "Walks For Motorists"

This one slipped in under my radar. First really paid attention to this band after they appeared in "the Only Lovers Left Alive", perhaps it's having appeared in a vampire movie but this album has a darker feel to it. There is a Bauhaus vibe to the drive of the guitar and bass on the opener. "Lsd or Usb" comes across like an instrumental interlude as the vocals that do sparsely chant are buried under neath the futuristic guitar noise. Ego Sensation's  bass line to "Wanderlust" has enough meat and attitude dripping from it's fuzz to get my attention, but the swathes of noise painted portraits painted with copious amounts of fee back tend to fade into the back ground. Is "Lead the Way" trippy? Yes, in a similar manner to the Cult and Monster Magnet. It allows the guitar to carry the song away on the hypnotic throb the feed back induces. If you like the guitar heroics of the 60s, think Jimi Hendrix then you might appreciate how the guitar solo totally hi-jacks the song. At eight and a half minutes this can be a little grating if you are sober.

There are some ambient space noises, you might want to label as kraut rock, I am sure they would sound great stoned and these sounds are given the motion of the drums and droning instruments it is layered over. I got enough of that on the last Mogwai album , what I want from these guys is to hear them rock out. Even at four minutes this just seems like a disposable interlude. Then "We Are What You Are" comes on more like a real song. The next catchy groove to follow the more droning songs is "Automated City" that sounds like Inxs jamming with Goldfrapp. This album for all it's hazy drugged out ways does sound really good. His voice takes on a Lou Reed like laziness on the surreal swirl of "Life is Upon You". It's drone is more like a Joy Division song, with Sensation's bass line holding the song together.

There is an element of this band that reminds me of My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult, so much so I wonder if the band cites them as an influence. On the title track they just ride out on the instrumental which is pretty much a dance track with guitar solos cloaking it. This is an intentional song because of it's length so there is no denying and trying to reason this away as just being an interlude. I am going to round this down to an 8 as the band might have created some interesting sounds , I feel that they waste a lot of time with songs like the title track, that might have a high drug value, but songs should stand on their own two feet with out the help of any chemicals.

White Hills - No Will (Official Music Video) from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

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