Release Date: Jul 22, 2014
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Tim Presley, better known as White Fence, has been feverishly producing freaky psych couplets in his L.A. apartment since 2008. For his latest LP, he scrapped bedroom recording for a better studio and brought on his friend (and fellow indie cult hero) Ty Segall as a producer. The result is his finest musings yet.
After many years spent wringing all the warped psychedelic magic he could out of a four-track recorder, bedroom-style, White Fence's Tim Presley moved his operation one step closer to the real world for his 2014 album, For the Recently Found Innocent. It was recorded in Ty Segall's garage studio, Segall and live bandmember Nick Murray provided drums, and the record was mixed in a real studio. The big question before hearing a single track has to be something like "Does this mean curtains for the wonderfully oddball psych pop Presley has been churning out like a mad lo-fi scientist?" The short and definitive answer is no.
After five solid psychedelic rock records, Tim Presley has finally decided to emerge from the confines of his bedroom studio on To The Recently Found Innocent. For his sixth effort under the White Fence moniker, Presley headed down to Ty Segall's garage studio in Los Angeles to record with his long-time friend and musical cohort. The result marks the first time in the history of White Fence that Presley has brought in other musicians and used more sophisticated studio equipment to help with his recordings; until now, Presley had rarely strayed from his 4-track solo recording system.
Borrowing, updating, deconstructing and reinventing the psychedelic and garage rock of the late ‘60s, White Fence gives the impression of a time machine gone haywire. For the Recently Found Innocent, the band’s fifth album and first proper studio recording, hits its mark and more, a fuzzy and swirling album that delivers both melodic irresistibility and the discombobulated, heady sense that a bit of something strong is about to take hold. Tim Presley grabs liberally from Barrett-era Pink Floyd, the mod-garage of The Who, the spaced-out charm of The Kinks and the raw protopunk that helped usher that era to a close, all with his deliciously skewed presentation.
Only in the dust-caked, film grain world of Tim Presley could recording in Ty Segall's garage be considered a major fidelity upgrade..
White Fence’s Tim Presley, alongside John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees) and Ty Segall have the neo- psych thing pretty sewn up: multiple bands, album’s seemingly released every other week, the history of the psychedelic sounds of their San Francisco (Dwyer/Segall) and California (Presley) bases pulsing through their veins. Presley however, feels no need to ghettoise his psychedelic reference points - by the sound of it he has just as much love for the Rubble compilations from the UK as he does for the more celebrated Nuggets from the States, and if there’s any further proof of his Anglification needed, he - alongside a member of one of his other bands, Darker My Love - even found themselves as two fifths of The Fall for their last decent album (to date), 2007’s Reformation Post T L C. They lasted just one album before being ousted, obviously.
For The Recently Found Innocent is the fifth album by White Fence, the stage name of Los Angeles-based psych-rocker Tim Presley. Presley is a highly prolific songwriter who compulsively writes and records skewed tunes to a four-track tape recorder in his bedroom. This budget conscious home studio setup has given his music—most of which has been released via the labels Woodsist and Castle Face—a distinctly wobbly and elastic sound.
Two years ago, when Ty Segall collaborated with Tim Presley’s White Fence project on Hair, the two made excellent music together. But, perhaps because Segall’s career was on the upswing, the album felt more like his record and was (fairly or not) considered an addition to his quickly growing discography. Of course, the more music Tim Presley puts out, the more unfair the focus on Segall becomes, and in retrospect Presley adds quite a bit of texture to Hair, even if the album drags him out of the bedroom and into a studio.
White Fence’s Tim Presley is a brave man. As guitarist in LA psych rockers Darker My Love, he’s stripped naked in //NME// and played in Britain’s most volatile group, The Fall. Fifth album ‘For The Recently Found Innocent’ finds him on safer territory, renewing his collaboration with Ty Segall. Soaked in the pair’s love of acidic garage, White Fence dally with ‘White Album’-era Beatles riffs (‘Wolf Gets Red Faced’), flower power harmonies (‘Actor’) and boozy piano funk (‘Raven On White Cadillac’).
Any band placing themselves in a revivalist genre risks getting caught up in nostalgia, creating a facsimile of past triumphs rather than updating them and furthering the style. This includes garage rock, as a slew of acts have gotten caught in a kaleidoscopic cage of distortion and ‘60s pop. As White Fence, however, Tim Presley has carved out a niche making rock music through a vintage, sun-speckled lens and often to refreshing results.
The definition of what constitutes “psychedelic” music is becoming extremely broad. It seems that any sounds music attempting to move listeners to an altered state – with or without a guitar – can be labelled as such. However, Tim Presley’s White Fence, a moniker that emerged in late 2008 following time spent in Californian hardcore bands, wear the label well.
Tim Presley’s been a constant figure in the Californian garage rock scene since the late nineties, and has shown his best side through striking out on his own under the White Fence moniker. In the past three and a half years he’s released an impressive six solo full-lengths, one collaborative LP with Ty Segall, a live album as well as starting his own record label – and with ‘For the Recently Found Innocent’ he’s brought White Fence into the studio for the first time. Abandoning recording sessions consisting of a 4-track in your bedroom in favour of moving into a studio might seem like a big shift, but here it hasn’t heralded any change in sound.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. White Fence is an inauspicious name for a band. Bland, inoffensive, you could write what you like on a white fence if you were graffiti-minded enough.. Please, come and write a band name on our white fence. Any band you like, but ideally one with ….
White Fence — For the Recently Found Innocent (Drag City)Tim Presley’s music has always had a dream-like quality. Its sprawling guitar psyche seems to spring directly from the subconscious, bringing elliptical shards of 1960s melody, turbulent feedback and whimsical imagery up from some bubbling stew of memory. Here on his fifth full-length, the bedroom auteur enters a more structured setting, working for the first time in a real studio (albeit one in Ty Segall’s garage) with an actual drummer (Nick Murray, who also plays live with Thee Oh Sees).
For throwback garage-psych conservator Tim Presley, last year’s Cyclops Reap turned slight tweaks—more prevalent hooks and an increased pop focus—into the most cohesive and promising White Fence album yet. To record For The Recently Found Innocent, he sought to build off those baby steps toward accessibility, venturing outside the confines of his home and into likeminded retro-rocker Ty Segall’s studio (which is in Segall’s home, but, hey, still counts). But while the effort breaks new ground for White Fence on the fidelity front, and adds an additional smidgen of needed consistency to Presley’s fuzz-jam fragments, it passes on the opportunity to do anything truly new; now five albums in, White Fence remains hopelessly mired in faithful reenactments of the British Invasion.