I often read reviews of bands that refer to influences and there seems to be a settled list of arty influences claimed by most new bands with pretensions. That list includes Lou Reed (Velvet Underground), Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, The Doors, The Beatles. I usually ignore that bit of the review. When I read an article about White Denim some time ago I saw that one of them said “Zappa? yeah, but I think Beefheart has stayed with us more.” Now, that I could understand. That they would engage in a discussion about influences rather than just name check people was interesting.
Later I saw a review of the first album “Workout Holiday” which compared it with “Trout Mask Replica” (which, if you do not know is simply just the best rock album ever made, bar none). That, of course was rubbish, besides the reviewer was someone who’s judgment I did not trust. Then, in Mojo, there was a review of the second album “Fits”. In that it said that the comparison with “Trout Mask Replica” made on behalf of “Workout Holiday” was entirely justified. Now, here is a magazine I rate saying the same as the Sunday Times. I had to listen to White Denim.
The comparison between “Workout Holiday” and “Trout mask Replica” is entirely justified. These are not some lads trying to be The Magic Band. These are guys that seem to ‘get’ it. They are not reincarnations of Zoot Horn Rollo, The Mascara Snake, and Drumbo. They are their own people.
If you like the Captain you really should listen to the first album, you will not regret it.