White Lung, 'Deep Fantasy'

When it comes to drive and intensity, it would be hard to find a band that outshines White Lung. The Vancouver punk band released its third album, “Deep Fantasy,” in June. The songs are dominated by the intense vocals of lead singer Mish Way, who sounds like she listened to a lot of early Hole and other female-dominated bands, such as L7 and Bikini Kill. 

Besides Way, Anne-Marie Vassiliou is on drums and Hether Fortune plays bass, while Kenneth William is guitar. The musicianship of all is outstanding on these 10 songs that run a brisk 22 minutes. Listen to that churning guitar, steady drumming and solid bass in full force in the opening track of “Drown with the Monster,” a tale about tackling depression. 

Way said in an interview in Pitchfork that “Screaming was always natural for me. I have a big voice, big projection. I’m a loud person.” Screaming may be a little bit of an overstatement but she is a natural for this music that doesn’t let up. One song moves naturally into the next, with no drop in the power. 

Whether it’s tales about body image in “Snake Jaw” or hypocrisy in “Face Down.” My favorite is “I Believe You,” about sexual assault. With its power chords, guitar riffs and exceptional vocals by Way, it’s a standout on a strong album. 

Another album I have been listening to this month is worth recommending: “High Life” by Brian Eno and Karl Hyde. I’m not a huge fan of Eno’s solo work and collaborations, but since he was the producer for some of the greatest albums of The Talking Heads, including “Remain in Light,” and David Bowie’s “Heroes,” I still give his efforts a listen. This was a nice surprise. 

The album title refers to an upbeat style from West Africa and African influences can be heard on a number of songs, such as “Time To Waste It,” with its mix of traditional grooves and electronic, and “Dbf,” an example of high life with echoes of middle-era Talking Heads. “Moulded Life” evokes early King Crimson, with its jagged guitar riffs and power synthesizers. My favorite section starts at 4:05, with a power jam that closes out the song. African rhythms and synthesizers weave a hypnotic web on “Lilac” that was created from a number of influences.

If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, check out the YouTube videos from this album. It could be well worth the effort. 

Mark Boshnack is a reporter for The Daily Star, and a music fiend. He can be reached at mboshnack@thedailystar.com.

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