White Hills: Walks For Motorists

Twelfth album from prolific NY psychedelic rockers.

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Recorded in Snowdonia in Wales, Walks For Motorists represents a departure for White Hills from this band’s usual studio environment. It’s the sort of remote landscape and detached setting in which the great Krautrock bands were wont to lay down their albums, and some of that spacious, even cosmic feel shines through these tracks.

Opener No Will, in which a fuzzbox sounds like an Apollo spacecraft on fire re-entering earth’s orbit, is the perfect introduction.

Dave W and Ego Sensation have opted for an arrangement in which bass and keyboards predominate, as on the migraine thud and swoop of £SD Or USB. So much so that when the guitars burst forth incontinently on Wanderlust it takes you by surprise, like a malfunctioning tap that has suddenly decided to gush.

Walks For Motorists cascades, scalds, oozes ectoplasmically and revisits the rusting futures of rock past, achieving lucidity and song structure on the magisterial Life Is Upon You. Its ‘woo-woo’s sound like they’ve stumbled back on the scorched plot of earth where the Stones conceived Sympathy For The Devil, while its ‘Girls up above, boys down below’ suggests a more progressive, larger sensibility./o:p

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David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.