On 2016’s Paradise, White Lung sharpened their aggro garage-rock sound into an infectious mix of punk and pop, and their long-awaited fifth—and, sadly, last—album, Premonition, additional refines the one-time hardcore punks’ wild thrash-pop. All through, Kenneth William’s sharp, icy guitar traces are drenched in refrain and flanger results, whereas drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou propels the songs with the identical reckless fury that gave the band’s earliest releases their frenetic edge.
With “Hysteric,” the album explodes out of the gate with a noodling riff and tumbling drums, as frontwoman Mish Barber-Approach—who’s traded throat-shredding shrieks for a extra managed, melodic strategy after damaging her voice in 2014—mocks patriarchal gender dynamics. “Oh, what a waste to be burdened with the hole calls for of one other man’s head,” she wails.
White Lung retains their foot on the throttle for “Date Night time,” by which Barber-Approach imagines God as a nihilistic, drunk-driving dangerous boy who guarantees to take her away from the “sizzling and soiled” L.A. wasteland. “I gained’t keep right here to see it burn/Will you?” she asks. Barber-Approach isn’t any stranger to inspecting her (generally paradoxical) views and wishes in her songwriting, and the tune sees her embracing the contradictions that include being an L.A.-based punk singer who additionally goals of leaving the SoCal metropolis behind and shifting to the nation together with her husband.
Issues decelerate momentarily when, on “Underneath Glass,” White Lung permits themselves their most shameless pop second. The title is a nod to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, increasing on the novel’s theme of suffocating despair in its description of a hard-to-grasp lack of self: “To you I’m sure, whereas I faux the guise, of an individual, of a working thoughts.” Aided by William’s crystalline arpeggios, Barber-Approach’s vocal harmonies show to be significantly affecting, her voice carrying what is maybe essentially the most accessible tune of the band’s profession.
Premonition’s cavernous, arena-ready manufacturing is a holdover from White Lung’s earlier album, however the outcomes are even moodier and extra anthemic this time round. Synthesizers improve the songs’ withering hooks, including an additional emotional dimension to the band’s deceptively easy aural assault. Tracks like “Mountain” and “Chicken” handle to ship each well-constructed pop melodies and pummeling velocity, whereas “One Day” shines with digitally flanged guitar leads and scorching chords whose nervy vitality is compounded with an assured vocal supply unmatched by any of Barber-Approach’s friends.
Motherhood, together with Barber-Approach’s second being pregnant, is referenced on the album’s cowl artwork, a grotesque collage that evokes a flyer for a school punk present. However even because the lyrics to songs like “Chicken” deal with the singer’s unborn youngster—“You’ll discover me on the surface, ready in gentle, and I’ll maintain on to you”—the band doesn’t stoop to sentimentality. Quite, William and Vassiliou intensify their mosh-pit frenzy, making for certainly one of Premotion’s most cathartic moments.
Songs like these seize the ever-evolving band on the peak of their powers. As soon as once more, they infuse their model of punk with a hearty dose of pop songcraft and meticulous manufacturing, courtesy of producer Jesse Gander, Premonition conjures a darkish, attractive dynamism unparalleled even by their very own extraordinary output.
Label: Domino Launch Date: December 2, 2022 Purchase: Amazon
Leave a Reply