Live Review: White Hills @ DC9, 4/29/12

"Ladies and gentlemen," went the recording, "Would you please welcome, from New York, the spaced-out, fuzzed-out White Hills." All was calm for just a second, the room collected its collective breath, and then all sorts of holy hell broke loose. And friends, it was wonderful. It was, as advertised, both spaced-out and fuzzed-out, not to mention loud as all get-out. And yours truly loved every split second of it. 

Bassist Ego Sensation proved her badassness immediately, sporting not only a seriously sasstastic red velvet hotpants suit but a clear bass as well. The band, Sensation along with Dave W (a man so badass he can pile on the reddish pinkish eyeshadow and get away with it) pulling guitar and vocal duties as well as a stoic-faced drummersmith, was all business from the beginning of the set. And what that means, brothers and sisters, is the playing of songs with serious aggression, serious ferocity, and a serious rawness that I just wasn't quite prepared for. Mind you, I was totally expecting an onslaught of noise, but not for quite how much the three would be going for the gold in the deliverance thereof. 

My ears were in agony (alas, the lack of earplugs) but my soul was enthralled as the band moved from dirty, dizzy delirium to a crawling king snake foreverness of screaming, sprawling sound and fury and back again. The songs of White Hills are powerful trouble music, fiercely unafraid and defiant and wonderful. My brain melted into a thousand technicolor puddles and all I could really think was how much I loved White Hills. At times the band attempted to sonically step on your throat in some sort of sexy aural asphyxiation, so merciless was their sound. 

"In this moment, open your eyes/it's a new day," quoth Dave K at one point, and that sounded about right to me. I'm here to tell you, my friends, that when it comes to White Hills, I'm a believer. Go see them for yourselves and get ready to believe. 

[photo by Megan Petty]


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