Nobody channels garage rock as faithfully as White Fence

Album review: White Fence’s ‘For the Recently Found Innocent’

White Fence
For the Recently Found Innocent
Drag City
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

While throwback garage rock is all the rage right now, nobody channels the genre with as much faithful genealogy as Tim Presley. Since 2010, his White Fence project has mined deeper strains of paisley-printed rock and sloppy Baroque punk than any of his contemporaries. Yet on For the Recently Found Innocent, Presley scrubs his sometimes-squalid songs clean of their noisier, more abrasive tendencies in deference to melody, hooks and concision. “Like That” marries impeccable Kinks-esque songcraft with bluesy drive, while the playfully crisp “Sandra (When the Earth Dies)” isn’t even dragged down by “all the junkies left to cry.” Shit-kickers like “Arrow Man,” “Paranoid Bait” and “The Light” recall White Fence’s early punk roots, but they can’t outweigh the lucid splendor of “Hard Water” and “Fear” or the jaunty barroom piano of “Raven on White Cadillac.” Chalk it up to Presley escaping the confines of his home recording studio, or having wunderkind/longtime collaborator Ty Segall produce For the Recently Found Innocent. Either way, this is the work of a newly focused artist blazing the clear path that’s somehow always eluded him.

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