Words About Music
White Lung “Deep Fantasy”
It’s tough for punk bands to remain interesting for more than one album. Punk music is often simple. It’s based on power chords and two-minute bursts of angry political energy. Some bands are able to defy expectation by expanding their sound while also staying true to their original sound, thus making their subsequent releases worth listening to. White Lung is definitely one of those bands. The Canadian quartet debuted in 2010 with “It’s The Evil,” bringing a sound that combines Pacific Northwest 90s “riot grrrl” with modern day post-hardcore and noise rock. The group definitely has a sound all their own and they were able to solidify it on their acclaimed 2012 sophomore release “Sorry.” For their third release, “Deep Fantasy,” the group sought to stick to their formula while also intensifying the quality of their production, making for one of the most hard-hitting punk experiences of the year.
While I can see why many would complain about White Lung sticking to their formula (who wants to hear the same thing over and over again?) I think it was also a good move for the band. Why? Well… it’s an amazing formula. I love the overall noise assault that makes White Lung sound like much more than the riot grrrl band they refuse to be. No band sounds quite like White Lung which makes their continued “sameness” fine with me. The lyrics are still psychosexual and demented and frontwoman Mish Way delivers them in a manner that makes them feel like they need to be said.
Perhaps my favorite part of this record is Kenneth William’s guitar playing. He’s the sole guitar player so he has to balance rhythm and lead parts simultaneously by alternating power chords and high-frequency noodling, something he does with a guitarist’s perfectionism and a punk musician’s carelessness equally. The guitar sounds perfect on “Deep Fantasy.” It’s loud, but not too overbearing. I’m completely blown away at how well this album was produced and mixed. Every appendage to the band’s sound is clear without sounding overproduced.
“Deep Fantasy” is a dark album that remains catchy and consistent throughout. The explosiveness and chemistry is undeniable in the band’s playing and in Mish Way’s vocal delivery. Perhaps I’m just easily impressed, but I think that White Lung has completed the final album in a trilogy of great punk records. I would advise them to maybe start moving in a different direction though, because sometimes even the best formulas get stale and overused. But for now, White Lung has a good thing going that is totally epitomized on “Deep Fantasy.” Almost every song on here is as memorable as it is cathartic which can be rare when punk artists are known for short, similar songs. I just hope White Lung can keep the momentum going in the future.
SCORE – 8.3
FAVORITE TRACKS – Drown With the Monster, Down It Goes, Face Down, I Believe You, Just For You, Sycophant, Lucky One, In Your Home