Release Date: Mar 20, 2012
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Stoner Metal, Space Rock
Never ones to slow down for too long, psychedelic space rockers White Hills deliver another blast of swirling, fuzzed-out sonic meditations on Frying On This Rock. Though it was recorded outside of the noise-friendly confines of Oneida's Ocropolis studios, the album's more compact and repetitive sound finds the band evoking the more Krautrock-inspired moments from "Sheets of Easter," with White Hills focusing more on building songs in a more careful, precise manner. This kind of tight, purposeful jamming is what keeps songs like "Robot Stomp" and "I Write a Thousand Letters (Pulp on Bone)" engrossing even as they push past the ten-minute mark.
Well, this is a funny way of reeling it in. White Hills, those hyperprolific purveyors of jaw-clenching, brain-warping psychedelia, aren't ones to shy away from the sprawl; why solo for three minutes, main man Dave W. seems to always be saying, when a dozen minutes will do? On the other hand, "songs" have rarely felt like much more than jumping-off points for the band's interstellar overdrive.
White Hills is one of the more formidable contemporary heirs to the Hawkwind space rock throne, an electrifying live band, and a damned prolific bunch. Here's another full-length, right on the heels of last year's Live at Roadburn and the ferocious H-p1..
For a group that sound like they’re no strangers to the bong, White Hills certainly are prolific. Frying On This Rock comes less than a year after their triumphant H-p1. Critically lauded and prominent in numerous end of year lists, H-p1 was 70-plus minutes of immersive, trance-inducing space rock interrupted by quieter passages of darkly ambient moon squelch which some of us are still trying to fully digest.
Such is the ferocious work ethic of White Hills that their idea of relaxation is considering whether Death By Audio's Total Sonic Annihilation pedal is a better bet than the Deucetone RAT distortion box, by sticking their heads into a PA system while setting their amps at world destruction levels. Probably. See, given the New York space cadets' schedule over last year or so – the release of the wormhole inducing H-P1, relentless touring and finding time to put out a live album in the shape of the limited edition Live At Roadburn 2011 and a tour CD-R entitled Oddity II: Night Scene On Mill Mountain, as well as other sundry low-key releases – taking time off is as alien a concept to White Hills as is turning the volume down.