White Hills: Walks For Motorists

Planet rock, from New York to North Wales.

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For the last 10 years, New York duo Dave W and Ego Sensation have been conducting their sonic starsailing and spangled gutter rock with an ever-questing creative lightning rod.

By 2013’s So You Are…So You’ll Be they seemed to have taken the space rock form as transcendentally high as it could go, so the pair returned to Earth, placing themselves thousands of miles from their Brooklyn comfort zone in a cottage studio in North Wales. This brave move has given their sound a drastic makeover, only the nine-minute Lead The Way invoking the kind of monolithic psychedelia the band are known for. The remaining eight tracks are shorter, stripped-down and ride pronounced electronically enhanced grooves, consolidated by the title track’s contagious funky workout. In the case of Automated City and £SD Or USB, the pair have redirected their patent brand of motorik to embrace the kind of groundbreaking aural anarchy which thrived in their home city’s post-punk scene in the early 80s, tempered with a new lust for life and precision psychedelia. Still mind-expandingly unique, White Hills have made their perfect progressive pop record.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!