November 18, 2014

White Fence, "For the Recently Found Innocent"

This, the most recent album from White Fence, is one that took a while to work its way into my subconcious. But now that it's there, I crave it nightly. I'm always humming the songs, forgetting what I'm humming until I can find the organ or guitar tones or the high harmony part hiding in there, then I remember "Oh, White Fence, this is great!" Maybe the reason this record spent so long on the mental shelf before jumping into my ears is that it came out at right around the same time as Ty Segall's "Manipulator," which was highly anticipated (and not just by me), and also because Ty produces here (they're buddies), linking the two LPs in my brain. But enough Psych 101. This is great rock and roll, very much informed by the 1960s British thing. In fact, it's my favorite bit of '60s British pop psychedlia to come out of California in a long time. There's sunniness, jangle, and plenty of "la la la," but also a dark streak; certainly a hallmark of the best psych rock. Also, the mix is appropriately retro---drums and acoustic guitars are panned hard right and left on many songs, with lead fuzz guitars and vocals down the center, much like the records of that era 45 years ago that were made for mono but reconstructed in a sort of gimmicky fashion for stereo. Collectively, it's both a timeless effort and an effortlessly good time. White Fence is in top form. The songs are all catchy, and while there's enough going on to warrant repeated close listens, the arrangements never feel crowded. Even the busiest songs, like "Arrow Man" and the should-be-a-hit "Like That," have lots of air inside them. My favorite that I keep coming back to is "Sandra (When The Earth Dies)," a song I can't quite decode except to say that it always makes me feel like going outside and taking a walk. Hup, two.