Apparently Side Effects is the eighth LP from White Denim, a fact that comes a surprise to a certain Norman Records™ writer who hadn’t been keeping tabs on the band. It feels like they’ve only been around for a couple of years!* Anyway, the prolific Texans stick to the formula on this new set, meaning that Side Effects is all urgent garage-pop beats and vaguely psychedelic arrangements.
*Not true - it appears they’ve averaged almost an album a year since 2008.
Vinyl LP £21.49 SLANG50208LP
Black vinyl LP on City Slang.
CD £11.99 SLANG50208
CD on City Slang.
Vinyl LP £18.99 SLANG50208LT
Limited edition, indies only clear vinyl LP on City Slang.
- Coloured vinyl
- Indies only
I’ve never listened to White Denim before, always dismissing them as a kind of Wolf Alice, Black Keys kind of band for some reason (I literally have no idea why I thought this). Alas, how wrong I was! Their new album is a soup of psychedelia, jazz, loops, experimentation, odd song structures, and god knows what else. White Denim remind me of Aussie psychers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, as well as hint at influences like Sun Ra.
For all their weirdness, White Denim can still write a banging chorus, as songs like ‘Hallelujah Strike Gold’ and ‘So Emotional’ testify. I also love ‘NY Money’ which proves the band not only write scuzzy psych bangers but also really wistful and touching pieces of music as well. I love the way that tiny little elements are always included, like synth textures, little tape loops, and strange noises (such as what sound like keys being jangled on ‘Out of Doors’). I think ‘Side Effects’ is the kind of thing Kevin Parker would be making if he pulled his finger out and/or stopped messing around with the likes of Mark Ronson. One thing that impresses me is the finesse and the virtuosity of the musicianship, I would love to see White Denim live to see just how good they really are. ‘Side Effects’ was an incredibly pleasant surprise and I look forward to delving deeper into White Denim's back catalogue.
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