There's no question that White Denim are one of the most prolific bands around at the moment. D is the Texan foursome's fourth release in as many years, and while this might be a worrying statistic for some bands, White Denim seem to have an uncommon ability to consistently produce engaging music and that's never been truer than on this album, by far their best yet.
Up until this point White Denim have recorded and gigged solely as a three-piece but the recent addition of an extra guitarist in the shape Austin Jenkins has loosened the creative shackles and allowed the band to explore their sound more than they ever have before. The ultra-precise rhythm section of bassist Steve Terebecki and drummer Josh Block has always been the foundation of White Denim, so the new duelling guitar principle has freed James Petralli from being the sole guitar left to battle with his bandmates. The resulting effect is a wider scope and a looser, more satisfying dynamic than on previous records.
Album opener It's Him sets the tone for the ten track collection. Steeped in elements of classic rock, it acts almost as a showcase for the musical prowess of each of the members of the band. The vocals, drums, guitar work and, particularly, Terebecki's John Entwistle-like bass prowess are all given spotlight in the mix. Elsewhere, instrumental track At The Farm has a thrilling crescendo which, if you strain your ears just right, sits nicely alongside Freebird.
Elsewhere, first single Drug, as well as Bess St., are full of immensely satisfying hooks and raw grooves and Petralli's voice excels on every track. In fact, most of the songs on this album are incredibly busy and filled with ideas but never to a point which renders it unlistenable because such a strong emphasis has been placed on the melodies.
D is a hugely enjoyable album which should be heard by many and should be heard loud. Without any fanfare, or even any expectation, White Denim have released the best record of the year.