Album Review

​Sidewave - Glass Giant

Released October 5, 2015
Lisa Sanchez
​L.A. stoner-garage band Sidewave is about to release Glass Giant, their first full-length record. A band's first album is often not the highlight of their career, and Glass Giant definitely falls short of being considered a musical success.
Sidewave's entire album is like remedial math rock amalgamated with all the 90's bands that no longer exist, for good reason. The band's sound is mostly slow-paced, brooding, dreamy pop/rock jams that start with "Grounded" and continue through "Romance is Dead" (yes, that's the real song title). These aspects by themselves could be fine, but every song on the album is indistinguishable from the next one.
While listening to Glass Giant I thought the band was trying to dry-hump an homage to Pink Floyd with 15-plus minute jams, only to discover I had heard three different songs without realizing it. That just shouldn't happen for a number of reasons…and I'll list them: 1. I should care enough to pay attention to when you're changing songs (which I just don't.) 2. Your songs should have a twinge of diversity; you know, enough to be discernable to the human ear. 3. The sound you're making now isn't good enough to warrant a five-minute song, and definitely not a 45-minute album.
I know somewhere in there Sidewave can put together songs because "Honest to God" starts with a legitimately intriguing guitar hook before it devolves into some desperate grab at radio rock stardom. "Pines" actually drew me in with some standout notes and Brand New-esque minimalist guitar. The only song that kept my attention was "Supersonic" where all the trippy parts were accented at the right time and the instrumentals switched up to a certain degree, but Phil Golyshko's vocals and synth make the song sound lethargic to a point where it sounds like a bad Quaalude binge in song form.
I had high hopes for Glass Giant considering the words "avant garde" and "stoner" were used to describe Sidewave while comparing their sound to the Smashing Pumpkins. Sidewave is decidedly not new, or intriguing, they just happen to have more white noise surrounding their average playing skills than most other bands. My advice to Sidewave: pick up the tempo, annunciate, stop losing momentum after one interesting intro, and fire William Collins because he has a synth lead-foot that is drowning any talent the band may have in fuzz set to stun.