White Lung – Deep Fantasy (Domino)

White Lung – Deep Fantasy (Domino)

The opening track of White Lung’s third album is appropriately called “Drown With The Monster.” A spiraling, tinny guitar riff inaugurates the record before Mish Way’s thunderous voice beckons you into Deep Fantasy’s tumult, stabilized by the refrain, “The water looks good on you/ Drown with the monster.” Way is openly critical about her qualms with patriarchal elements of the music industry, about the insecurities that come with being a woman in a band, or a female fan of brash, unapologetic music. These kinds of issues have been discussed at great length this year, and most criticism boils down to a very basic statement: Women in the music industry, regardless of how talented, and regardless of how successful, are often made to feel very small and inconsequential. It’s a privilege to listen to an album like Deep Fantasy and hear Way take her revenge. These are the kinds of songs that reject the very notion of “background music” — they are all dark, fast, and threatening as hell. In just over 20 minutes, White Lung sucks you into their cathartic void. “And I’m not as strong as you are/ But I am everywhere,” Way sings on “Down It Goes.” The theme of pulling someone under, of forcing someone into submission, pervades a good deal of the lyricism on Deep Fantasy, and anyone who has seen White Lung perform understands that particular feeling of resignation, the moment when you have no choice but to give into their total control. Accompanied by guitarist Kenny Williams and drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou’s sneering precision, what could sound like inundation in absolute chaos becomes a carefully reordered universe, with Way as its absolute commander. –Gabriela [LISTEN]

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