White Denim| Photo by Drew Anthony Smith, courtesy of Downtown Records

As though they were conducting a methodical survey of every possible stripe of rock’n’roll, Austin, TX bad boys White Denim have notched a steady, gradual transformation with each release, from the scraggly art-punk and lo-fi garage of their 2008 debut to the jammy, glammy psych-prog of 2011’s DStiff is their first outing since the departure and replacement of fully half the band (they left to go work with Leon Bridges) – and also since the debut of frontman James Petralli’s charmingly Britpoppish side-project, Bop English. And no surprise, it’s is yet another stylistic shake-up.  But the nature and magnitude of the change are still a little bit stupefying – in a wholly delightful way.

Doubling way down on the ‘70s-indebted Southern rock leanings evidenced on 2013’s rootsy, Jeff Tweedy-abetted Corsicana Lemonade, Stiff blasts beyond that album’s relative tastefulness with full-on swaggering, moneymaker-shakin’ boogie, heavy swampland R&B and – metaphorically speaking, at least – a lot more cowbell.  “Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)”’s skin-tight, affirmational funk channels James Brown by way of the Black Crowes; “(I’m The One) Big Big Fun” is smoky, blue-eyed voodoo soul; “Real Deal Momma”’s a throaty, fuzzed-out blooze with a whiff of Dylan in the verses.

All of which has the potential to come across as cartoonish, schticky and crude as the album’s absurd, Ween-worthy cover.  But the band’s relentless, riffs-blazing conviction and commitment to the righteous, rollicking good-times vibe renders that a moot issue.  For all their shape-shifting, these guys always bring plenty of energy, wit, enthusiasm and – in particular – ferocious instrumental chops to the table, ensuring that their stylistic peregrinations never feel like genre tourism.  This latest nugget — fun and funky,  loose and stiff all over— is as ragged and right as they’ve ever done.

White Denim performs Thursday, April 21st at Union Transfer. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.