Metal riffs, rocket-speed drums, pop hooks and punk attitude. In less than three minutes, “Face down” delivers it all. It also marks the third must-listen in a row from the Canadian four-piece. Over the past eight years, one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets have toured small club venues and released confrontational but melodic punk music recalling L7 or Hole, but more agile and metal boxed.
Without losing any vital cornerstones, the pop elements introduced on their new material makes White Lung heaps more entertaining than on previous albums. Consequently, it also put the band in a much larger conversation ahead of new and third album Deep Fantasy, their first for Domino. In my view, there are two things that stand out with White Lung; first of all there is Anne-Marie Vassiliou’s racing drum work that keeps its velocity even when everything on top is set on tuneful. Then you have charismatic lead singer Mish Way, who certainly knows how to switch between passionate biting yelps and inviting hooks. And she’s particularly strong when she spits bold lines of merciless fury in the shape of a contemporary torchbearer of feministic punk.
It’s a rear treat hearing punk with this much energy that still successfully pins down catchy earworms. They join a growing line of contemporary bands that draw their influences from punk and hardcore but build their own cathedral of what that means in 2014. And “Face down” is White Lung’s strongest testimony yet.
Deep Fantasy is out via Domino on June 16 in the UK and June 17 in the US.