Saturday, March 13, 2010

Album Review: White Fence – White Fence

I must admit, I was a little predisposed to like White Fence’s new record before I even heard it. After all, the man behind the White Fence is a familiar face around these parts: Tim Presley of LET favorites Darker My Love. Tim’s a busier guy than I had thought, what with his Darker My Love duties, other band obligations, and yet the man can still find the time to crank out a damn fine record of his own. Let’s hear it for multitasking.

On first listen, you might ask yourself which long-lost gem of a 1968 record you might have stumbled upon. But no sir. No ma’am. It’s just the good works of Tim Presley. Tim’s definitely been listening to his Syd Barrett records, and has managed to create a really great sound here, evocative not only of Syd’s solo work but with glimpses of Pavement, The Fall (particularly on “Baxter Corner”), and overtones of obscure 60s bands that very few people are fortunate enough to know about. The album is more than a little lo-fi, crackly and muddy and sounding a lot like a basement or bedroom recording. And I’ve got to say that in this case, that’s a wonderful thing. It’s very atmospheric, very exposed, and very, very good. You production snobs might not agree, so if you’re looking for super slick look elsewhere. In the meantime, the rest of us will enjoy the beauty that a little roughness around the edges can provide.

Knowing the proclivity of Darker My Love to the realms of nouveau psychedelia, the content of this record comes as absolutely no surprise. The only surprise is just how much I like it. It’s a sonic kaleidoscope, a musical merry-go-round. Tim tries anything and everything, seemingly, and his experimentation really pays off. There are bonus points to be had for including a song called “Sick Doctor Blues.” Brilliant. Listening to this record, and it’s not a short one, you feel like the whole thing is done before it’s barely begun. And at that point, you’ll just wanna keep listening. And listening. And listening.

mp3: I’ll Follow You (White Fence from the forthcoming White Fence)


1 comment:

Josh said...

I stumbled across this "band" whenever Insound.com sent me the free mp3 of the week email. I had no idea of Tim Presley or his other band at the time but I immediately noticed the similarities between White Fence and Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. This review says everything I thought about White Fence's sound, while mentioning some other band similarities that I'm not familiar with. After listening to some more tunes on myspace, I immediately downloaded the album on itunes. Excellent review and excellent album, though it's not for everybody, especially those wanting a hi-def production.