Influenced by the likes of Alter Bridge, Metallica, Dream Theater and Deep Purple, the melodic rock band that is Side Effects originally started off as a solo project. Started in 2008 by vocalist Ivan Mihaljevic Side Effects quickly grew into a full lineup after the release of their first album Sandcastle and the desire to play live shows. Side Effects currently reside in Zagreb, Croatia and consist of members Ivan Mihaljevic on vocals/guitars, Marko Karacic Karo on bass/backup vocals and Alen Frljak on drums/backup vocals. After their formation, Side Effects became a catalyst to share their opinions, worries and thoughts as an eclectic rock power trio, after releasing Sandcastle in 2008, Destination Unknown in 2010 and Counterclockwise in 2012, the band returns in 2018 with their fourth studio release Descending Rabbit Holes.
Descending Rabbit Holes offers listeners carefully thought-out arrangements written with edgy riffs, lyrical intensity, rhythmical grooves, incendiary shredding and vibrant percussion, according to Ivan, “The new album will encompass the organic sound of a rock power trio.” All packed into 11 tracks, including; `Don’t Contradict The Facts´, `The Siren Song´ and `Obituary Of Common Sense´, Ivan continues: “The new album doesn’t really have a unified meaning, what the title means is that every song aims to deeply explore the topic it deals with and therefore, descends into the proverbial rabbit hole.”
The funky rock sound of `Colorblind´ catches your attention from the get-go and takes hold following alongside the straightforward lyrics backed by Ivan’s strong vocal ranges. The catchy melodic groove of the guitar and bass keeps the song lively while the rhythmic drumming keeps the momentum all before breaking into an echoing solo with a mixture of harmonies and piercing sound. With the combination of elements and overall sound, `Colorblind´ delivers and becomes a song not only to think about but remember as well.
`Recoil´ takes on a whole new course right from the beginning with an eerie bass groove slowly followed by a fast pace riveting sound of the high hat cymbal and the slow strum of the guitar. As the song progresses, the drums take on a tribal sound and distorted riffs have a deeper and darker tone. Subtle vocals gradually intensify giving `Recoil´ a haunting feel while still having a melodic tone as Ivan sings the chorus “Back off and stay away loose cannon’s fuse is short, walking disaster waiting to unfold its wrath.” As the music fades into its solo, you can hear a distant humming that as it becomes clearer turns into a shrilling full blown solo. Sharp beats of percussion and powerful struts of the guitar kick in with force as the song closes after another round of the chorus. `Recoil´ has its low points and its highs but when plays out as one its a powerful closing track to an impressive album, once again opening the mind this time to think of the evil within.
Members of Side Effects have certainly been busy since their formation in 2008, the album Destination Unknown won “Album of the Month” by Guitar Techniques Magazine in March 2011, and Ivan won the Status award as “Best Croatian Guitarist of the Year 2015” by the Croatian Musicians Union. Prior to Side Effects, Ivan played with a former band Hard Time at Wacken Open Air in 2005, Alen teaches drums at the Modern Rock Institute in Zagreb, and Marko plays together with Ivan in the rock band Caracas. Side Effects also headlined the Guitar Master Festival as well as performed at July 2012’s Heineken Jamming Festival according to the band’s website. Descending Rabbit Holes releases everywhere courtesy of Rockshots Records on September 28, 2018!