Gotta admit, when the press release about White Hills came out with a bunch of talking about the evils of Bush Jr. it was hard not to roll my eyes a little. Not that he was a good president (he was shit), just that I remember- as I’m sure most of you do – that in the last few years of his rule it was pretty impossible to find someone who was not doing a DARING, SCATHING etc etc take on his incompetent administration. To paraphrase a metal archives review, it may have taken some guts criticising Bush on the 12th of September, 2001, but in 2007 (when this album was first released and now reissued by Thrill Jockey)? It took about as much courage to do so as cussing out the monster under your bed does when you’re 25 years old.
That said, totally redundant politicking aside this is quite a good album, it’s inspired me to check out some of their other stuff… in general there’s a lot going for it. White Hills go at everything pretty hard, and except for some somewhat average vocals,are rather good at everything they put their hands on. Except for interesting political commentary, anyway. Zing
Reminds me a lot of The Cosmic Dead’s stuff, albeit maybe a little more focused. Long form jammy stuff, repetitive, hypnotic rhythm section madness while the synths alternate between floating and swooshing over it all, with the guitars switching between some pretty mean riffing and hard out, super fried soloing, heaps of wah, switching between pickups rapidly – always a cool sounding technique that in general never gets enough love – some pretty shreddy moments, all the good shit. One thing I really like about this album is the tendency for the band to jam on something for ages before switching, duck’s-asshole-tight, into a fairly tight riff out of nowhere. Guitars and bass just locking in tight while the drummer continues his Mitch Mitchell-on-steroids deal. It’s probably why the epic Under Skin Or By Name is my favourite track here – a few different rather loud sections, about 20 million drum fills, all anchored by a very cool main riff that switches into a few other equally cool ones. It’s moments like this that make me wonder why every band in the world doesn’t just jam krauty stuff all the time.
One of the cool things about this album is that they balance out some particular fierce rocking out with some delightfully mellow, trip through the daisies kinda stuff, and they’re actually really good at it. Spirit Of Exile‘s slowly floating guitar melody and simple, repeating refrain is a really nice bit of respite after the fierce opening track, and something like the almost Hammock-ish ambient drift of Distance, well, you wouldn’t even know it’s the same band as the tight, ferocious jam-masters that are in the title track. Now, I don’t believe that diversity in an album is a must – I love Reign In Blood, I love Back In Black etc., buuut if a band can pull it off well then happy days.
Yeah look, it’s a real good album – I think what sold it for me was finding their Live At Roadburn album, which really exposes the potential of some of these tracks, which in turn got me appreciating this more. Ultimately, I found myself wishing the album was a fair bit longer – a few more loud jams, maybe another mellow trip. Consider that as a fairly big compliment. Yeah, Glitter Glamour Atrocity is a really fun album and I highly recommend it.
Scribed by: Caspian Yurisich