Release Date: May 19, 2017
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Space Rock
White Hills have always been a high quality “it” band who, regardless of any hype or not, are a reliable go-to source for a mind-altering and rocking time. The band captures that elusive sense of cool that some bands and artists like Iggy Pop, Boris, Royal Trux, Janelle Monae or the Raveonettes have in spades, a commitment to their own vision regardless of what else is going on and all while looking fabulous. Dave W.
It's been enthralling and relentlessly invigorating watching Dave W and Ego Sensation, aka White Hills, evolve over the last 10 years from psychedelic space-rock motorik to the deconstructed post-punk of 2015's Walks For Motorists. The latter was recorded deep in the Welsh countryside but their latest statement is a New York album through and through. As long-time residents, the pair are understandably incensed and concerned over recent developments in the US, along with their city's ongoing corporate makeover, translating their rage into a seething Xtrmntr for modern times that is undoubtedly their best, most relevant work to date yet.
New York-based psych-rock duo White Hills have touched on political themes before (see track titles such as "False Revolution Toward a Slick Mirror," and the presence of a George W. Bush sample on 2007's Glitter Glamour Atrocity), but given the events surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election, they've felt no choice but to speak up. Like their past collaborators Gnod, who bluntly titled their 2017 album Just Say No to the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine, White Hills urge their audience to take action on Stop Mute Defeat, declaring that "We are all responsible" and "We have the power to resist hate and apathy" in the liner notes.
Photo by Simona Dalla Valle For their latest outing, Dave W. and Ego Sensation trade in a bit of their trademark psychedelia for a more industrial sound — though there's still plenty of acid-tinged guitar and atmospherics involved. Shifting their style to a harder-edged approach, the duo assembled sounds and samples, then went big city and enlisted legendary New Yorker Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, et al) for the mixing.