Friday, May 16, 2014


Adrian Discipulo Photography
Fullerton's White Night  is one of those bands that baffles me a bit. That's not a knock in any way. They're straight up stellar, good-time punk that makes you taste the air. I (welcomely) take some flack for defining bands in the negative, or, to say it another way for positioning bands I like against bands that, for one reason or another, folks like and pump out $20 for a two band bill and continue to buy tired and trite record after record. Straw man or not, I'll not do that here. Well ... at least, I will not call out names or point fingers at those "punk" labels that cookie cut their way through merch sales. What White Night gets right is that punk is about merging the serious with the silly, jettisoning constricting genre categories, embracing the dirty rawness, and celebrating all the people and experiences that come with it.

Take their most recent release, Prophets ov Templum CDX, for example. It's a strange ass record, incorporating a few decades worth of sounds into two-minute (give or take) meandering blasts of sweetness. Backed by a solid pedigree of musicians, White Night feels like they're always evolving, always moving in and out of spaces that are familiar and comforting but choreographed in such a way that it catches you off guard, forcing you to catch up before the next shift. It's a dynamic approach that never feels forced or cobbled. Coming from someone who gravitates toward the atonal and affronting drones, White Night gives me pause. In a way, they make me take stock on how my tastes have shifted and remind me of the quiet joy of watching Neil Blender carve around for hours. Yeah, sure, there's some nostalgia plunking me in the back of the head, but White Night is never stale, never trite, never complacent. So dig it, Total Folks, they're coming to Missoula  in August with a small contingent of Recess bands, and we'll all be better for it.

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