Rather than the ’80s hair-metal throwback the name implies, Austin’s White Denim play acid-washed blues-rock with an off-kilter pop sensibility. Exposion, the group’s full-length debut, is a half hour of noisy psychedelia trimmed of bloated excess and crammed into hooky, digestible, three-to-four-minute tracks. Opener “Don’t Look That Way at It” retrofits classic-rock vocal dramatics with a cartoonish “yah yah yah” coda, an effect equal parts Thin Lizzy and Banana Splits. “IEIEI” drastically shifts midway through from hand claps and chanting to a near ambience coupling softly plucked acoustic guitar with erratic percussion and leading into a lengthy instrumental passage spanning segments of three tracks and brightened in “WDA” by low-mixed wisps of ghostly wordless vocals. The beat builds in intensity and finally breaks into a brief southern-fried stomp on “Heart From All of Us.” Closing track “Sitting” thickly layers Brit-pop harmonies over a catchy repetitive piano riff before launching into that always-surprising rock ’n’ roll rarity, a decent saxophone solo.
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