Raoul Hernandez’s review of “Fits” by White Denim

White Denim

Band: White Denim

Album: Fits

Critic: Raoul Hernandez

Publication: Austin Chronicle, 2009

Writing Disorders: Idea Fever, Purple Hemorrhage

Longest Sentence: 71 words

Clunkiest Phrase: “fidgety acoustics of penultimate supplication”




I thought this review was a joke when I first read it because I can’t fathom how anyone could write something like it, much less how an editor of a newspaper allowed it to be printed.


Where should I even begin, Raoul? The review is unreadable. Take this sentence, which comprises ONE-THIRD of your entire review by volume:


“The gathering chaos and tumbling beat wrapped around a barbed bassline on opening greeter “Radio Milk: How Can You Stand It” reverberates a decided 1970s sonic warp, analog thick with vinyl width – poked guitars, holler harmonics, and disorientation – while the 1960s pop shambolism of “All Consolation” ticks a Motor City riot, and the stoner rock transistor shred of “Say What You Want” talks pulsing drift, rustic Indian accents, and surf undertow.”


First of all, when you’re writing about a song containing its own colon and measuring six words long, it’s best not to cram it in between so many adjectives that you lose track of the verb. Second, you don’t need to write “decided” as an adjective. We’ll trust you if you say the song sounds like something from the 1970s. Don’t waste space. Third, keep made-up words to a minimum. When you write 70-word sentences, our level of understanding is already knocked down to the level of Homo Erectus. “Shambolism?” Jesus, dude…


Let’s try something, Raoul — just bear with me on this one. I’m going to rewrite that enormous sentence, getting rid of every unnecessary adjective, every redundant phrase, and every sliver of word junk clogging up cohesion. Ahem:


“The beat wrapped around the bassline on the opening song reverberates with analog 1970s sound, while “All Consolation” incorporates 1960s pop.”


I didn’t include that bit about the third song, because it should be in its own sentence. But anyway, you get the idea. Writing fewer ideas with less fat gives your readers a fighting chance to grasp your thoughts. What you wrote sounds straight from a gravity bong. And while stoned ideas sound great in the brain, they could use a few edits before being offered to sober people.


Moving on…


Raoul, you mention 12 songs in your review — 12 songs in a review that’s not even 250 words long. That’s obscene. It doesn’t do the band any more favors than your poor readers when you write about its music like acid-trip copy with a strict word limit. If you’d cut that number in half, then you could have written twice as much about each song. You might have even written about what you THOUGHT of the album instead of just describing in very obtuse words how each track sounds musically. I can only speak for myself, but I have a sinking suspicion that people aren’t motivated to listen to music because one song is classified as “percussion filigree and blaxploitation boogie” and another is hailed as “espresso machine rhythmic choogle.” Not to hate on those less fortunate, but that’s absolutely retarded.


And that’s really what all of this boils down to. You wrote a sequence of criminally silly ideas strung together by a handful of verbs and commas. As a review, it reveals little about how this album made you feel, and whatever points you do make are lost in the word muck. Did you read what you wrote, or did you just write it and collect the check? PLEASE, for the love of Iluvatar, reread what you write in the future and ponder the following question: Is this crap?  Everyone involved will benefit.

11 thoughts on “Raoul Hernandez’s review of “Fits” by White Denim

  1. Mr. Hernandez has been torturing me for several years with his reviews. He either doesn’t have a satisfactory grasp of the English language, or he’s the most pretentious pone in the world. I don’t want to be a negative poo head; I understand that the new thing with the blog kids is to not be a “hater.” But this guy is the Music editor for the Austin Chronicle for Christ’s sake. I mean, what’s up with this passage: “The revolution rock riffage of grand funk steam engine “Everybody Somebody” matches acid rock guitar harmonies to espresso machine rhythmic choogle…”

    Grant me the serenity, Lord.

  2. Hah! Easy.

    It means that the song “Everybody Somebody” is basically a grand funk steam engine, metaphorically, I hope. Which, somehow, has developed a rock riffage which is, in turn, revolution (NOT revolutionary, you ignorant rats). It also matches acid rock guitar harmonies to a sound a rhythmic espresso (no other) machine makes.

    See? What’s tough?

  3. Cool. I came across this review of a review when I Googled White Denim. Raoul is the worst reviewer I’ve ever read. As a fan of Austin punk and alternative, I’ve read a bunch of his reviews. His head is “decidedly” up his own ass. The review of the review was wonderful and right on the money. Raoul’s writing always seems like a joke.

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  5. I like Raoul Hernandez’ review of Fits. White Denim have become remarkably beloved and respected given they have only been present on shop shelves for just over a year.

  6. “Raoul, you mention 12 songs in your review. 12 songs in a review that’s not even 250 words long.”

    That’s not a review, that’s a fluffed out comment.


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