White Hills - Live at Roadburn 2011 (IMPORT) (CD)
Catalog number: RBR023CD
Artwork by David D'Andrea.
White Hills truly are a scintillating live band and then some. Having been introduced to their live experience at Supersonic Festival earlier this year, I was blown away by their swirling hypnotic boogie, the technical perfection of the fuzz-rock sound and a mesmerising display of light and visuals complete with costumes both wacky and retro enough to make Robert Plant look like a tracksuit-wearing poser.
All of the above comes sailing across my stereo speakers in terrific clarity on 'White Hills Live at Roadburn'. New tracks from the epic 2011 release H-p1, namely the title cut and 'The Condition of Nothing', utterly dominate the senses, mists of cosmic guitar, juggernautical basslines and solid beats blast the listener into a higher realm of sonic delight. Dave W's outer-galaxy cries wail across sounding like the MC5 playing a gig in a cave on Mars; quite simply epitomising the very meaning of heavy psychedelia. Meanwhile, even without her easy-on-the-eye stage presence, Ego Sensation's deep bassy throb is enough to ensure that eight-minute-plus opener 'Three Quarters' rocks harder than the Jimi Hendrix Experience playing a Hindu temple on the last days of their lives. 'Under Skin or By Name' and 'Radiate' are slower, more esoteric reincarnations of classic Amon Duul or Hawkwind records, bubbling under a haze of distorted guitar walls and cackling electronics.
Even without the visuals, vintage clothing attire or volume-inflicting stage set-up, there's no denying these New Yorkers' pedigree as a live act is solidified by this epic show.