Canadian punk band White Lung have no time for bull—-.
Deep Fantasy runs at about 22 minutes, meaning that no second is wasted. Yet, it is this third studio album that is the band’s longest collection of songs to date.
Lead single Drown With The Monster begins like a volcano ready to blow with blistering guitar riffs that are only a hint of what is to come. When it erupts, the ashes of frenzied guitars and drum hits give listeners a good kick up the rear end. Lead vocalist Mish Way is most likely the monster of the song. She doesn’t sing her lyrics; she spits them out of the speakers. Way clearly wants to take listeners down with her to a watery grave.
The pace is alarmingly high for the rest of the album, even on the more ‘musical’ tracks that actually have chords, melodies and SINGING. Snake Jaw electrifies with a demonic blend of Blondie and Green Day, as Way’s harmonies and vocal performance mirror those of Debbie Harry over a backing track that spins out of control.
Face Down is an ideal second single from the opening mandolin-like riffs to the end. At any one point in the song, there is something going on: an engaging guitar riff that’s the closest thing to a solo on this record, a drum slam or a lyric.
Other tracks manage to unite a strong musicality with uncontrollable chaos and energy. Wrong Star sounds a bit galactic at the start, but unleashes a Stairway to Heaven on speed in the choruses. Sycophant screeches straight from hell with the danger of a highway police chase, but even then the ferocious guitars flourish with the elegance of a Spanish guitar.
Closer In Your Home‘s sparkling, anthem-like riffs prop up the frenetic rhythm section and the story of Way’s obsessive behaviour (‘I will wait in your home…I will bug your phone’). Way herself sounds like a parasite through her extended, onerous notes.
White Lung remains potent, intense and uncompromising on Deep Fantasy. Despite the unsettling nature of the music, it is the energy that keeps the band going. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the band’s sound will continue to suit festivals like NXNE, SXSW and Pitchfork.