‘Sorry’? Don’t make me laugh. Judging by this record (the band’s second), Vancouver quartet White Lung aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings and their raw, blistering punk rock attack will rub salt into your wounded heart. Strangely enough, you’ll thank them.
Belting through ten songs in less than 20 minutes, the pace is Ramones-relentless, but they never sound less than convincing. Vocalist Mish Way could match most typical punk screamers for power, but her piercing howl has the clarity and melodic edge that lingers long in the memory after ‘Sorry’ has run its course. Guitarist Kenneth William is no slouch either, whether scratching out a brittle melodic line on ‘Bag’, an ace spidery riff on ‘The Bad Way’ or unleashing bursts of screeching sonic warfare on ‘Those Girls’.
The overall impression is of a mix of early 90s alt-rock and riot grrl (Mish Way is a self-confessed Courtney Love devotee) fed through an 80s hardcore blender; the end result being as addictive and uncompromising as you could hope for. Granted, they’re not offering up anything particularly new, but they certainly infuse these old sounds with fresh rage and vitality. Check them out – you won’t be sorry either.
Words: Alex Gosman