Tim Presley, the man behind White Fence, was instantaneously alluring and familar. His distinct voice and style of music is what set their performances apart from others at Pickathon.
While engaging and having engaged in other bands such as Darker My Love, the Nerve Agents and the Strange Boys, White Fence is entirely his own baby. The sounds are inspired by west coast twang, and “pockets of strange.” Regarding the origins of the band name, Presley had commented, “it is the name of a gang in Los Angeles. But I also thought of the opposite spectrum, that being behind a safe white picket fence, suburban, which can equally have its dangerousness and secretness. A paradox of the two.” That conflicting theme transcends.
The strong punk influence induces a sense of rebellion, a distaste for cultural norms and bubbly pop music. The hectic and clashing melodies are succinctly riveting. Guitar parts reverberate into your memory. The inclination to ride on the back of a motorcycle through the desert, where a distinct era cannot be determined by examining the surroundings, is there. It all seems so old yet it still feels new. The songs are experimental in that Presley lacks any fear to try new sounds and collaborations. Inaudible conversations are hidden within the recordings. His vocals border along a somewhat genderless tone. Everything is trippy, distortion-laced. It is psychedelic rock warped by delicate and effective oddities.
Somehow this band has always flown under the radar. The performances White Fence put on both Friday and Saturday were mind-blowing, and are sure to set many imaginations ablaze. Many had gone out of their way to catch both sets, which had been on one of the main stages and in the Galaxy Barn. Presley is a throwback to some of the greater things from the ’60s. He had a tendency to lift his guitar above his chest, guitar neck at level with his nose. He sang seductively, increasing the intensity of the songs. The rest of the members stayed slightly stagnant, eying nearly every move the frontman made. In contrast, Presley usually had his eyes closed. Crowd favorites were performed, and many were enthused to experience “Who Feels Right?”, “Baxter Corner” and “The Pool” live.
The music sounded like an exchange between instruments, sort of like a cold war. There’s a penetrating fierceness, allowing itself to be revealed at unexpected times which disarms the listener. It felt good to be taken aback by an unsuspecting group of talented musicians.