White Hills – Walks for Motorists

Album Review by Andrew Gordon | 26 Mar 2015
  • White Hills – Walks for Motorists
Album title: Walks for Motorists
Artist: White Hills
Label: Thrill Jockey
Release date: 6 April

The eighth studio album from an underground psych-rock band doesn’t sound like the most approachable prospect on paper, but Walks for Motorists surprises by being a playful, inviting record that (its title is the first clue) doesn’t take itself too seriously. More interested in churning out grooves than contriving a specific persona or message, White Hills incorporate disparate styles and instruments with an open mind.

The result is a collection of compulsive head-nodders that keep listeners guessing despite their cyclical patterns and limited melodic palette. “We are what you see,” Dave W sings before the band gear up for two minutes of wah pedal flame-throwing, but just when you’ve got them clocked as a more technically proficient simulacra of early Stooges, they dive cheekily into Automated City, a drum machine-lead homage to Kraftwerk with wryly robotic one-note guitar parts and plenty of oscillator twiddling. Equal parts bracing and whimsical, Motorists is just plain fun.

Playing Salford Islington Mill on 9 Apr http://whitehillsmusic.tumblr.com