Album Reviews

White Fence – Family Perfume Vol. 2

on May 15, 2012, 7:59am
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The word “ambition,” and its grammatical derivative, “ambitious,” gets bandied about a lot with musicians, but it’s only really fitting for a few people. Jack White? Maybe, but he’s doing his Jack White blues thing. Robert Pollard? Yeah, because he writes 100 songs a day. Tim Presley? Absolutely. Who is Tim Presley? He’s part of the new 60’s psychedelic garage push coming in from the West coast, which includes garage rock god Ty Segall. Presley’s project, White Fence, has released its second album, Family Perfume Vol. 2. It’s the second half of an ambitious 29-song Family Perfume album, and it’s a delicious stew of feel-good, throwback rock.

Family Perfume Vol. 2 is equal parts country folk, White Album-era Beatles, “See Emily Play” Pink Floyd, and the lo-fi aesthetic of someone like Elliott Smith all mixed together in the best way. Opening track “Groundskeeper Rag (Man’s Man)” has doubled and reverbed vocals that drip across the track like rolling lava, while Presley plays a simple arpeggio, then rages away on a guitar full of chorus and slap-echo. The song sputters and stops as it ends before the music shifts to a more upbeat bounce on “She Belief”, where Presley’s voice floats about like John Lennon’s once did. The synthesizer effect at the start of “I’d Sing” is one of the few sounds that make you remember this album was recorded in this decade and not 50 years ago.

Towards the middle, the record does sag from a heavy dose of Presley’s weird experimentation; however, with 15 songs that clock in at just over 40 minutes, that moment is short lived, and all is well with the beautiful, meditative exercise that is “Makers”. From there, it’s a melodic trip out and one that merits a revisit – that is, until Presley creates another volume of work. In the meantime, your best bet is to stick around here, open the windows, let in the night air, spark it up, and dig in. It’s going to feel great.

Essential Tracks: “Makers”, “She Belief”, and “Real Smiles”

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