Canadian punk quartet White Lung have recently released a new album, Deep Fantasy, on the Domino label. Like their previous full-length albums - It's the Evil (2010, Deranged Records) and Sorry (2012, Deranged Records) - Deep Fantasy has already earned itself a handful of favorable reviews, and has been equally well received by listeners. One can make the obvious comparisons like Bikini Kill, Babes in Toyland and Hole, but White Lung is decidedly its own musical species of animal, wild, beautiful, ferocious. Deep Fantasy also marks an evolution in the band's sound, harnessing artful noise, raw energy, sonic textures, and lyrical substance ranging from the personal to the societal and political. And while they can be easily inserted into the punk category, White Lung's sound refuses to exist solely within the confines of a single genre or subgenre; instead, they move through a number of related genres and subgenres, bringing to mind the alt-rock and grunge of the '90s, the punk of recent years, power pop, and the post-everything music of the '00s.
The Deep Fantasy listening experience, although comprised of ten tracks, moves by all too quickly, leaving one wanting more. And while all of the songs on the album are exceedingly good, there are some standouts worth mentioning, especially the opener "Drown With the Monster," "Face Down," "Wrong Star," and "Lucky One."
White Lung has been around since 2006 or so. Original members Misch Way (lead vocals) and Anne-Marie Vassiliou (drums) are now joined by Kenneth William, who has been the band's guitarist since 2008, and Hether Fortune of Wax Idols, who has been on bass since 2013. Way, White Lung's frontwoman, has much to express, and she does so with a slightly dirty vocal style, yet not so dirty that she cannot be understood properly. Vassiliou pounds the drums with expert timing, carrying the music forward. Fortune provides a strong backbone of low end, without which the music would surely fold over on itself. And guitarist William, a very capable musician, hits the chords hard and fast, creates crazy riffs, throws in harmonics patterns, and works all six strings like a pro.
Deep Fantasy by White Lung is available from Domino in 150-gram black vinyl with album download code.