White Denim's album 'Fits' hit stores in the United States this week, along with a reissue of their previous album, 'Exposion.' The stateside releases have been a long time coming for the popular Austin band, as the albums have been available overseas for several months.
A year ago, guitarist/singer James Petralli, drummer Joshua Block and bassist Steve Terebecki were riding a steady wave of hype, making high-profile appearances at the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Europe's iconic Glastonbury Festival. But despite critical acclaim, 'Exposion' was only available in a very limited capacity, as a distribution deal with Austin's Transmission Entertainment didn't work out as they had hoped.
The band moved on, content with a UK release of 'Fits' in June on Full Time Hobby, which had put out their previous two albums across the pond. With support from BBC radio, the band was already experiencing popularity there unmatched by their small but enthusiastic fan base in the states. 'With the way that the release went last year, we had kind of resigned ourselves to being a UK band, and we were all really happy with that.'
There's a good chance they'll be more than just a 'UK band' after more people hear 'Fits,' which was picked up for release in the U.S. by Downtown Music, home to Art Brut and Mos Def, among others. It's an explosive collection of songs that showcases the band at its best, shifting effortlessly between rock, punk, funk and even some jazz. On pumped-up numbers 'Say What You Want' and 'I Start To Run,' Petralli plays the psychedelic hard rock singer role, speedily growling over Terebecki's bass. By the time we get to 'Paint Yourself' and 'I'd Have It Just the Way We Were,' he's in soul singer mode, with a falsetto croon. The three members seem so comfortable genre-jumping that it's not hard to imagine them knocking out a great album in whatever style pleased them.
Despite the momentum of the new record and a national tour with another Austin band, Brazos, kicking off this weekend at Mohawk, Petralli isn't holding his breath. 'We tried to do a lot of things on our own terms, and it didn't go amazing,' he says. 'We certainly learned a lot, and one of the biggest things that we learned was how to keep our expectations under control.'