White Hills – White Hills

January 01, 1970

(Thrill Jockey)






Of late, there seems to have been a
notable trend toward gentility and precision when it comes to music that could
broadly be classified as “psychedelic.” Although clearly it’s a good thing that
there are more bands striving to alter your consciousness through music, after
a while all that twee filigree and immaculate arranging gets a little … I don’t
know, dull.


Thankfully, into that china shop of
glo-fi pop comes trundling the meth-soaked, feedback-spewing bull of White
Hills. For their fourth album in three years, this Brooklyn
outfit continues their freak-rock mission of delivering Hawkwind-via-Spacemen
3-via-Loop dirge-drones, although on this self-titled release, the approach
taken is even more unrelentingly visceral than before. Redlined to within an
inch of its life – even the drums sound
distorted – White Hills is a burly,
messy voyage into the sweaty underbelly of psychedelia, populated with beefy
riffs (like the fuzz-bass/fuzzier-guitar ones that anchor “Three Quarters”),
evocative nonsense lyrics (like the unsettlingly ominous “leave this world
behind/we are the sunshine” refrain in the epic “Polvere di Stelle”), and a
general sense of dizzy disorientation throughout.


Whether on the relatively more restrained
numbers (like “Glacial,” which is) or the frenetic and aggressive ones (like
“Dead,” which is not), White Hills delivers a punishing and immersive reminder
that not every trip is pleasant, but it’s the scary ones that are usually the
most memorable. 

Quarters,” “Dead”  JASON FERGUSON


Leave a Reply