'Corsicana Lemonade' Record Review
White DenimCorsicana Lemonade (Downtown)
Don't expect a breakthrough single from Corsicana Lemonade. White Denim's carved a career out of defying expectations and easy outs, crafting the kind of idiosyncratic albums that collectors will be digging for in decades to come. The band's fifth LP sounds a lifetime removed from the Spartan trailer spunk of 2007's vinyl debut Let's Talk About It, still the best encapsulation of the then-trio's absurdist garage rock and livewire appeal. Produced in part by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and local engineer Jim Vollentine, Corsicana Lemonade captures White Denim at the peak of its technical prowess, yet still only scratches its surface potential. Opener "At Night in Dreams" continues the hyper-precision of 2011's D, guitarists James Petralli and Austin Jenkins choogling at a land-speed record with jigsaw complexity. More Kraan than Thin Lizzy, their interplay powers Corsicana Lemonade as much as Petralli's slipstream impressionism – just check the title track's Texas road map. Future first-dance ballad "A Place to Start" succeeds on any number of levels, its subtle dual drums and jazzy sway giving rise to rippling guitar and warm synth layers, while Petralli's powerhouse soul in "Cheer Up/Blues Ending" would make Little Richard's big toe shoot up in his boot. There are traces of the quartet's past, too: Topsy-turvy psych ballad "Limited by Stature" was co-written by Parque Touch cohort Lucas Anderson, "Let It Feel Good (My Eagles)" hints at the band's early oddball charm, and "New Blue Feeling" offers some closure to D stunner "Street Joy." "Hurried up for waiting more times than I care to say, but it's clearer to us now that it's starting to change," surmises Petralli in the strutting "Pretty Green," referencing the band's evolution to date. "We're moving up, moving out." White Denim knows no other direction.