White Fang – Full Time Freaks Review

Say hello to White Fang! They are from Portland, Oregon and they have been responsible for some heavy, thrashing punk over the last few years with this, their third album and it is called Full Time Freaks. It is out on April 28th on Metal Postcard Records and you can find it at Rough Trade East.

The short and sweet album opens with ‘Gonna Get It’ which starts with a slightly disjointed and lone riff before being joined by a melodic partner with the bass linking up before flashing into waves of distortion from the guitars, drums and reverberating vocals that is all tied up by the bass line. The song doesn’t really have a chorus yet it doesn’t really need one with it serving it’s purpose as a track to just lose yourself to and go mental to, which I can imagine occurring when the song is played live. Diverting to a verse would sort of take off some of the raw energy of the song that delivers a sharp burst at a little over two minutes. The title track starts off with bare and minimalistic zaps of a modulated synth that gradually increase in tempo before developing into a rapid rhythm before the sharper roar of distortion from the guitars come in. The vocals are more like a bold and ‘in yer face’ rap that is offset brilliantly by the softer and more harmonious backing vocals. One of the standout tracks from the album.

‘Talkin’ To Gary On The Corner’ opens like an early Bowie or 70’s Kinks track with the gentle acoustic chords and it undoubtedly retains that swagger and feel as the vocals come in and the song progresses. They are heavily distorted and isolated which is what adds the different dimension to this track and it controls the attention of the listener completely with the lyrics taking centre stage. The pop like backing vocals and the lighter, strung out guitars adding the contrast which makes the music just as appealing. Just imagine a very lo-fi Nick Cave or something along those lines. ‘Shut Up’ features a phased out snappiness to it via the drum samples it uses at the start. Upon this falls the churning and grinding riff before the deep toned and isolated vocals come in delivering some straight to the point and stomach churning lyrics. The falsetto the develops towards the end almost sounds sarcastic which is fits in to the tone of the song so easily. ‘Talkin’ To The Apple’ is largely a shift in tone with softly lapping riffs and instrumental melodies and harmonies which almost acts as the albums intermission. Thinly laid riff open ‘Waste My Time’ before nudging the song into the distorted affair of vocals and guitar. ‘High On Life’ is a little like Crocodiles with a slightly more sugary and optimistic tone to it with the pop like backing vocals and the happy lyrics. On the face of it, you think this album could be a little monotonous and sounding too similar to other groups with all their distortion and blocky guitar sounds. Listen to it all the way through and you get a more diverse picture lyrically, musically, stylistically in a way that you can certainly pin to a West Coast sound, but one that is able to set itself apart from it all at the same time. Aside from this it is just a fun and raucous, raw piece of thrasy punk and pop; not setting the world alight but more keeping it spinning.

White Fang – Full Time Freaks = 7/10

Images from rawramp.me / www.contactmusic.com

 

 

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Comments

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