Austin, Texas is well known for its flourishing psych and experimental music scene, and White Denim has been at the heart of it for years now. The band is also known for playing around with lots of different sounds and styles, and on their newest album the experimental approach is once again in full force.
Side Effects is an album filled with the sounds from all of White Denim’s back catalogue. It’s a controlled chaos that directs one’s thoughts to a softer, less technical version of Mars Volta. But it’s an album that on some tracks also goes straight for a bluesy sound. A track like “Reversed Mirror” has an almost desert rock vibe, while”Head Spinning” has them firing up the garage and fuzz sound.
There is no doubt that White Denim is a band of talented musicians, but here it’s as if they’re trying to boil all the sounds from their previous albums down into one, with the end result being directionless. This means that the tracks that could have potential end up feeling a bit uncooked and not quite reaching the heights they could.
Overall, Side Effects is a full-on White Denim album with a big potential, but it just doesn’t reach the edge of the stage.