The smug reference-happy reviewers that celebrated White Lung as the intersection of Olympia’s riot grrl and first-gen British post-punk — two genres knighted with perennial cultural-studies cool — weren’t wrong but they were missing the point. At the risk of going all Fox News on you White Lung’s debut LP It’s The Evil wasn’t appreciable for academic reasons even if it passed the rock historian’s bullshit test. No its appeal was purely visceral: It was venomous furious and distinctly of its place and time — meaning that above all White Lung felt like a slice of Vancouver’s skid row. Shit was authentic on the Theodor Adorno tip dude.
Authenticity though is a delicate thing: Many were secretly relieved for example that the Exploding Hearts couldn’t tarnish Guitar Romantic ’s sterling rep. (FYI: They died in a car crash in one of modern rock’s biggest tragedies.) White Lung however live on and Sorry is Evil ’s followup. And does it deliver? Bro… yes.
Disclaimer: Sorry shouldn’t be labelled a “growth” record; White Lung for all their genre exploration are nothing if not punk. Nor should Sorry as its predecessor be called an exercise in throwback. Yeah vocalist (and occasional Fast Forward Weekly contributor) Mish Way’s squawky delivery still feels Kathleen Hanna-esque. Sure “St. Dad”’s steely harmonics — and disorienting melody — borrow Embrace’s dynamism a new territory for White Lung. And the buzzsaw guitars of “Those Girls” near-metallic in precision could rival the skate-punk of say Bones Brigade or S.T.R.E.E.T.S. Truthy enough but here’s the thing: As with Evil name-checking Sorry ’s peers still feels reductively clinical. And didn’t we call bullshit on that earlier?
So let’s drop the pretensions. The LP’s signature moments from “I Rot” to “Bad Way” to “Glue” bristle with distinctive frenetic guitar work — something we’d attribute to coked-up writing sessions were it not for the title of Sorry ’s opener. (“Take the Mirror.”) Melodic as it is Sorry also has few discernible pop-music touchpoints displaying White Lung’s ability to craft bizarre yet accessible songs. And for the reviewer’s accolades it’ll earn — it’s instantly top-something for me — Sorry ’s the type of LP that could and should get your little brother into whatever the fuck Ebullition’s distributing now. This pals is how a punk rock record should sound in 2012.
<a href="http://whitelung.bandcamp.com/album/sorry" mce_href="http://whitelung.bandcamp.com/album/sorry">Sorry by WHITE LUNG</a>