White Hills

So You Are... So You'll Be

Written by: BV on 29/08/2013 21:30:29

The New York based space-rockers in White Hills are back with their newest release, ”So You Are… So You’ll Be”, and let me just start by stating that this album has been set up for quite the difficult task. To follow up on an album like “Frying On This Rock” (its predecessor) is by no means an easy task and in the harsh face of this fact, White Hills seem to have steered themselves in a direction quite unlike “Frying On This Rock”.

At its best moments, “So You Are… So You’ll Be” is up there with the rest of the space-rock legends as White Hills cruise through the atmosphere in search of space on tracks like “In Your Room” where the colossal riff and the hypnotic vocals are instantly memorable – to the extent of recognition, as I can imagine it would be quite tough to attempt to sing along to such a track. Cruising with a similar altitude we find the title track that, in all its glory, basically reeks of what makes White Hills such a unique space-rock outfit in the first place. Armed with a hypnotic riff and a sound that leads my thoughts to amplifiers on the verge of a massive breakdown from the sheer pressure they’re being exposed to, this track emanates an utterly lysergic sound that I can only imagine would be far more impressive in a live setting than it already seems to me at this moment. The hypnotic effects of the riff maintain my interest throughout the total of 7 minutes and not once does my attention wander off in search of the next track or anticipation of anything else for that matter – a true piece of hypnotic space rock at its finest.

Unfortunately however, this high level does not occur throughout the entirety of the album, as the two short and relatively pointless tracks called “InWords” and “OutWords” take up space without ever really adding anything to the general soundscape or the overall vibe. Equally so, “Rare Upon the Earth” comes off as over thought and far too experimental for its own good as it generally consists of echoes, oscillations and high-pitched squeals without ever really getting anywhere. Despite eventually leading into a somewhat cool riff that is glazed bountifully with searing wah-guitar leads, the track comes off as strikingly forced – as if it strives far too hard to become an acid-fueled expedition to outer space, essentially killing off the free-flowing vibe of improvisation that is, essentially, what makes this band so interesting to listen to.

So in an effort to conclude this review I have to remark that, as far as follow-ups go, this was a seemingly successful effort that sadly couldn’t live up to the full potential that was laid out for it. In retrospect however, this album might have seemed fundamentally greater had it not been for White Hills’ incredibly high standard for the studio output.


Download: So You Are… So You’ll Be, In Your Room
For The Fans Of: The Cosmic Dead, Gnod, Flowers Must Die
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 20.08.2013
Thrill Jockey

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