Album review: White Denim

White Denim - Side Effects (City Slang)

White Denim.

White Denim.

IN SOME corner of a foreign field - Austin, Texas, to be precise - it will forever be the 1970s, but what kind of seventies depends on what White Denim album you are listening to.

Previous albums, like 2013's Corsicana Lemonade and last year's Performance fused glam rock, hard rock, country, and soul-funk. There were always strong elements of prog and math-rock inspired stoner rock, but that side of the equation has become more amplified on Side Effects, the kind of album Kevin Murphy in F Is For Family spends his days in his basement dreaming of composing.

Think of it as a more excitable cousin to Corsicana Lemonade, but shorter (at 30 minutes ) with busier, more frantic songs, like psychedelic opener 'Small Talk (Feeling Closer )'. And those knotty, blues-metal-math, riffs on 'Hallelujah Strike Gold', 'Reversed Mirror', and 'Introduce Me', well guess who's been listening to Warfaring Strangers: The Darkscorch Canticles compilation of post-Sabbath underground US metal? You just do not hear that kind of thing anymore, so thank God these Texans are brining back this neglected style of guitar playing.

What prevents it from being totally 1973 is punk fuelled garage-rocker 'Head Spinning'. What prevents it from being totally prog/stoner is the cool, laid back, motorik of 'Shanalala'.

This is an eccentric album. If you are wired a certain way (like me ) there is much here to enjoy, and to admire in its musicianship. Newbies though may want to investigate Corsicana Lemonade or Performance in advance.

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