White Hills - So You Are… So You’ll Be

White Hills - So You Are… So You’ll Be
Album Reviews

This is all you’d expect from a White Hills album – both aggressive and ferocious.



Label: Thrill Jockey
Released: 19th August 2013
Reviewer: Alex Yau
The chaotic guitar thrashing of ‘In Your Room’; the propulsive psychedelia of the album’s title track; the menace of ‘Circulating’s glacial industrial-ness: New York’s White Hills are vying for every ounce of your attention as their cranked up seven-minute guitar jams can muster.

Like previous album ‘Frying on this Rock,’ guitarist and singer David W has enlisted engineer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans), and none of White Hills' trademark abrasiveness has disappeared. ‘Rare Upon Earth’, for example, is an aggressive, eardrum busting guitar-jam that could easily fit anywhere in the pandemonium of ‘Frying on this Rock’ or its predecessor ‘H-p1.’ Elsewhere ‘Forever in Space’ could easily be a rip roaring collaboration between the Stooges and Mudhoney.

But amidst all these moments of anarchy are calm, pulsating moments. Sure, the glitched video game blips of ‘InWords,’ ‘Outwords’ and ‘Circulating’ act more like fillers than album bookmarks but White Hills have shown they can do calm just as well as they can do frenetic. ‘The Internal Monologue’ is as parred down as White Hills could ever get, its sleek synths and mesmerising feedback as icy as a Vicks Vaporub. Further on, ‘MIST (Winter)’s churning bass and winding guitars are the closest they’ve ever been to a stadium anthem. This new timid direction carries on from where they started on ‘Frying on this Rock’ and they’ve gotten to grips with it here.

This is all you’d expect from a White Hills album – both aggressive and ferocious. They’ve managed to balance brutality with a controlled ambience that takes nothing away from their distinctive character.
Rating: 7/10
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