Songs For Our Mothers
British group Fat White Family spit in the face of millennial optimism with sludgy songs about sex, abuse, addiction and fascism that are occasionally grotesque and antagonistic. They have a reputation for throwback heroin chic and a desire to revitalize rock with something more primal and subversive, but their second album too often flatlines.
It starts off hookily enough with the dancey Whitest Boy On The Beach and the Sean Lennon-co-produced Satisfied, before quickly slipping into middling lethargy. Bits of carnivalesque menace and pop balladry eventually worm into the atmosphere, reminiscent of late 70s English post-punk bands the Homosexuals and the Fall, climaxing in strummy torcher Goodbye Goebbels, a romantic lament written from Hitler’s point of view.
Though murky mixing obscures their incendiary songs, the overall mood of disquiet and anxiety is potent (perhaps prescient?). If only they could shape it into something with more of a jolt.
Top track: Whitest Boy On The Beach
Fat White Family play Lee’s Palace as part of Canadian Music Week on May 7. See listing.