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White Hills and Societal Ills

Playing White Hills through desktop speakers or earbuds won’t cut it. This is a live band, and it takes a wall of giant speakers to get the full White Hills experience. This New York band has captured the energy of ’60s festival rock in a way that few others have. London’s Sunday Times put it this way: “White Hills dumb down determinedly to discover their inner ape and nibble the fingers of greatness.” Greatness meaning more of a Led Zeppelin/Iron Butterfly/Jimi Hendrix feedback loop rather than merely cloning Hawkwind, another band of spacerockers to whom White Hills receive many comparisons.

The downside to the wall-of-speakers experience is that it can be exhausting, having to withstand all that raw ear pummeling. But White Hills know how to take a single riff just to the breaking point before crushing it with a guitar solo delivered in a Jon Spencer shockwave of screeching distortion.

This year White Hills has, to use a corporate term, “reinvigorated their brand” by writing rants about various societal ills on H-p1, their 14th release since 2007. “H-p1 is symbolic of the simplification of complex ideas to keep the masses from questioning the system,” bassist Ego Sensation told a reporter. Guitarist Dave W., Sensation, and new drummer Nick Ferrante deliver confrontational paranoia on a platter, and it works because on H-p1 the level of lyrical angst matches the retro guitars-on-afterburner theme.

Plant Tribe and Joy also perform.

WHITE HILLS: Soda Bar, Saturday, September 17, 9 p.m. 619-255-7224. $8.

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Playing White Hills through desktop speakers or earbuds won’t cut it. This is a live band, and it takes a wall of giant speakers to get the full White Hills experience. This New York band has captured the energy of ’60s festival rock in a way that few others have. London’s Sunday Times put it this way: “White Hills dumb down determinedly to discover their inner ape and nibble the fingers of greatness.” Greatness meaning more of a Led Zeppelin/Iron Butterfly/Jimi Hendrix feedback loop rather than merely cloning Hawkwind, another band of spacerockers to whom White Hills receive many comparisons.

The downside to the wall-of-speakers experience is that it can be exhausting, having to withstand all that raw ear pummeling. But White Hills know how to take a single riff just to the breaking point before crushing it with a guitar solo delivered in a Jon Spencer shockwave of screeching distortion.

This year White Hills has, to use a corporate term, “reinvigorated their brand” by writing rants about various societal ills on H-p1, their 14th release since 2007. “H-p1 is symbolic of the simplification of complex ideas to keep the masses from questioning the system,” bassist Ego Sensation told a reporter. Guitarist Dave W., Sensation, and new drummer Nick Ferrante deliver confrontational paranoia on a platter, and it works because on H-p1 the level of lyrical angst matches the retro guitars-on-afterburner theme.

Plant Tribe and Joy also perform.

WHITE HILLS: Soda Bar, Saturday, September 17, 9 p.m. 619-255-7224. $8.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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