White Denim at the Visulite tonight (10/31/2012)
WHITE DENIM These Texans recorded their first LPs in a Silver Bullet caravan on the outskirts of Austin, making suitably scuzzy and fuzzy lo-fi records. But with 2011’s D, the band cleaned up its sound, reigned in some of its far-ranging songwriting palette, and added another guitarist to flesh out its live sound. The result was practically shocking; a hard 180 into (some say overly) polished soulful psychedelic pop. Once influenced by everything from acid-drenched 13th Floor Elevators and desert-noodling Meat Puppets to the Minutemen’s free-jazz punk-funk, White Denim instead now taps into mellower Topanga twang and jammy Hordefest-pop. The band put all this new sheen together in its hit single “Drug,” which, let’s just say, will not be serving as the theme song for the war-on-drugs agenda any time soon. The sonic clean-up is a mixed bag, as the band has traded some innovative energy — at least on record — for a more direct and streamlined approach. There’s still chops aplenty here, but one does miss the rough edges and freestyle genre-hopping of early White Denim. With Maps & Atlases. $12-$15. Oct. 31, 10 p.m. Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. 704-358-9200.