White Hills: Glitter Glamour Atrocity

The Hills are alive with the sound of this remastered and reissued second blast.

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New York-based space-rock duo White Hills recently had a musical cameo in Jim Jarmusch’s tiresome hipster vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive playing a track from this 2007 album, which helps explain why it’s being remastered, repackaged and reissued.

The tune in question, Under Skin Or By Name, is a pulsating Krautrock throbber that erupts midway through into a roaring blast furnace of psych-rock freakout, thus proving fairly typical of the Hills and their neo-Hawkwind aesthetic.

The two longest, heaviest numbers feel like Big Statements with sampled vocals and political messages. Long Serve Remember is a riff-scorching psych-blues beast that alternates between whisper and scream, and features a manipulated George W Bush speech in which the former US president confesses to murder, torture, terrorism and other high crimes.

The title track is a fuzzy, clattery, effects-heavy 14-minute epic, built around an apocalyptic monologue by carpet tycoon Ray Anderson about the ecological vandalism caused by big business.

Both listenable enough, but the Hills are more interesting when they drop the macho histrionics for the lysergic dreamtronica of Spirit Of Exile or the fuzzy future-folk of Somewhere Along The Way, which builds from guitar-picking pastoral glide to electro-magnetic interstellar overdrive with agreeably cocksure ease./o:p

Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.