An itchy presence on indie rock’s margins, White Lung look to be making an unlikely attempt to crossover to more mainstream success.
These Vancouver mavericks have long been a hipster’s wet dream. Straddling thrash metal, hardcore punk and 21st century riot grrl, they have to date released two albums of righteous agit-pop and feminist polemic fronted by singer Mish Way, who doubles as a music writer for famously arch lifestyle website VICE.
This third offering finds them slimming down from a four-piece to a trio after defenestrating founding bassist Gardy MacIntosh, and signing to formidable indie label Domino Records. Yet, laudably, these accommodations with the mainstream do not include the slightest hint of any compromise in their musical vision.
Their forte remains blasts of rudimentary, inchoate rage fired out over suitably needling and serrated guitars designed to whip a moshpit into a frenzy. Way claims her lyrics this time around tackle rape, body dysmorphia and gender identity (‘I’m not as strong as you!’ she spits on Down It Goes) but mostly her words and agenda are lost beneath White Lung’s aggravated thrash.
Songs are largely indistinguishable and Deep Fantasy’s ten rocket-fuelled rants are over and done inside 25 minutes. Like it or not, White Lung won’t be selling out anything just yet.