Vancouver's punks White Lung, fronted by shrieker Mish Way,
leveraged hyperkinetic drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou and
abrasive guitarist Kenneth William for the varied canvas of
It's The Evil (Deranged, 2010), ranging from
the limping and derailing Wild Failure to the
disjointed square dance of Two Seen
and peaking with the rough melodrama Psychoholic ,
all delivered with maximum energy.
The 19-minute mini-album
Sorry (Deranged, 2012) boasted a surprisingly
melodic Bag but also the
breakneck-speed aggro Thick Lip
and the usual parade of deranged missiles
(Take the Mirror, Glue).
Deep Fantasy (Domino, 2014) was
a bit monotonous and underwhelming. The ten brief
songs rarely innovate over the standard set by opener
Drown With the Monster, with the notable exception of
Face Down in which
guitarist Kenneth William steals the show.
The 29-minute mini-album Paradise (2016), sleekly produced by
Lars Stalfors, shows, first and foremost, Mish Way's maturation as a singer:
her voice whips the hell out of the
pounding square dances of Dead Weight and
Kiss Me When I Bleed.
The other protagonists are the arrangements, e.g. the
merry-go-round keyboards in Narcoleptic.
The standout, however, is Sister that has a simple
structure, but exudes plenty of verve and atmosphere.
Since the sound has been sterilized, it is no surprise that some of the songs
seem to come out of Brit-pop of the 1970s.
Despite its brevity, the album feels too long for what the band has gotten: the
second half is mostly disposable. This should have been an even shorter record.
Kenneth William, who composed each song in a different key, is a competent
composer but there are a few thousand around.
Way has become a better songwriter, but, if you want to read good poetry, i can recommend a few thousand better poets.
One misses the point. If you are just making average music with average lyrics,
and very little energy, why should people listen to you instead of the other
Anne-Marie Vassiliou is one heck of a drummer, though:
the pummelling rhythms is what really keeps this album alive.
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