Release Date: Jan 18, 2011
Record label: Woodsist
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Indie Pop, Neo-Psychedelia
The present indie epoch is awash with prolific artists. Perhaps as a reaction to hip-hop and blogging culture (the former proffering an endless current of Internet mixtapes and cameo-permeated singles, the latter allowing artists the unprecedented freedom to release new material as soon as it’s recorded), some of today’s most influential musicians are avoiding the stoic stance of ‘90s cult icons like My Bloody Valentine and Neutral Milk Hotel in favor of a more candidly productive approach. Instead of years long gaps between records, bands like Animal Collective and Deerhunter are making music more rapidly while individual members are often stepping away for solo records and collaborations.
Tim Presley comes from a growing faction of hard-working throwback rock'n'roll artists who share both a love of vaguely garage and punk music but also display a pertinacious work ethic. Seemingly dissatisfied with the "one album every 18 months" approach of some of his peers, Presley serves as frontman for neo-psych group Darker My Love, guitarist for garage-poppers the Strange Boys, and still found time to release the self-titled debut of his solo project, White Fence, late last year. All in all, White Fence played like many solo bows: It was a solid-but-sometimes-unfocused tour through the artist's mental Rolodex of influences and flights of fancy.
Anyone expecting Tim Presley (of Darker My Love) to take his one-man project White Fence into a studio and smooth out or beef up the tinny, almost defiantly homemade sound of his first album will be disappointed. White Fence Is Growing Faith has the exact same recorded-on-tin-cans-and-string sound of White Fence, it also has the same inventiveness, the same wonderfully wobbly melodies and the same overwhelmingly high ratio of hooks to clunks (about 15-1, with the one being the cover of Johnny Thunders' “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory”). Unlike many of Presley's contemporaries, his influences don’t stop at C-86.
Imagine you have a friend who is pretty smart and has some interesting things to say, but your friend thinks that, in order to sound smart and interesting, he or she needs to speak with a French accent (because all of his or her favorite philosophers are French, say). White Fence does the same thing, but with the Kinks. Tim Presley, known from his other band Darker My Love and perhaps from his involvement with the Strange Boys, writes good songs with catchy tunes, but puts on a Ray Davies accent and makes all of the production sound like an early Kinks album.