Reviews

White Denim
Stiff

(Downtown)

8/10

There’s plenty to potentially hate on White Denim’s seventh album, with its monocultural, retro stylings and straight-white-male dude-rock 40 years out of date at best. But for every anachronistic element of ‘Stiff’, there are at least five examples of joyful virtuosity and unapologetic fun that make it an irresistibly loveable record, despite itself.

Make no mistake: ‘Stiff’ is deeply conservative, throwback blues rock, but criticising White Denim for not being Stormzy or Oneohtrix Point Never seems akin to asking Usain Bolt why he can’t write poetry: like Tarantino’s unrepentant appropriation of old cinema, White Denim’s homage is presented here with enough zest and nonchalance that they can carry out the biggest stylistic heists with seemingly just a smile and a shake of the hips. ‘Stiff’ is the sound of being, gleefully, that little bit drunker than you anticipated.

It’s proper beer music to play air guitar to. In 2016, the gap in most record collections for this sort of atavistic bravado is slender indeed – but personality, it appears, really does go a long way.

New monthly memberships available

Here’s a new thing: our membership scheme now has a pay-monthly option, plus a load of exciting new digital stuff for people who support what we do. It’s actually excellent value, honest, and will help us continue to promote new independent artists and labels.

Sign up and you’ll receive our physical magazines delivered to your door, our digital editions, exclusive podcasts and playlists and access to our EXTREMELY glamorous Members Lounge. You’ll be the envy of all your friends.