Friday, April 12, 2013

White Lung bring their scalding punk attack to New Haven

There comes a time in any worthwhile band's career when they make an album that will get people to stand up and pay attention. For Vancouver, noise-punkers White Lung, their second album "Sorry", which was released last year on Deranged Records, provided the band with such a moment.

It racked up worthy notices from all parts of the media, from the underground, the influential internet sites like Pitchfork and even more mainstream publications such as Rolling Stone and Spin. For the band and lead singer Mish Way this is new territory. "Yes, I was surprised. I never thought anyone would really be paying attention to it. But it's good if it gets out there and gets more people into it," said Way.

The band's mastery of fast, noisy punk rock is well on display on this record. It's vicious, ferocious and takes no prisoners. It's short and to the point and very, very catchy.

White Lung, which also features bassist Grady Mackintosh, guitarist Kenneth William and drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou, have really come into their own on this one. It's much better than the band's debut "It's The Evil", which was still pretty good. Way agrees with these sentiments. According to her, the first record was the sound of a band learning how to write songs and get along, while the new one, is much better. It's catchier and more streamlined, yet contains the same type of emotions that made the first record really good. Though, they've gotten more proficient at their craft it hasn't come with the loss of passion or fire.

Though it doesn't always come easy to the band, as their creative process can be a little difficult, but ultimately rewarding. "It can be painful, I'm not going to lie. We write as a collective and sometimes it takes a lot of effort. I'm dealing with three perfectionists that aren't always good with communicating with each other. But when it works, it works very well and there are no other people I would rather write songs with," said Way. The subject matter of her lyrics tend to be based on people she knows, and is a lot less linear, than her day job as a freelance journalist. Take one listen to "Sorry" and you can see how she eviscerates people who have done her wrong, but in a creative, even witty way. But it's still very pissed off. Some would say she is channeling a young Courtney Love, and you wouldn't be too far from the truth. "I discovered Hole when I was 15 and she was the coolest to me. She was acting in ways that a woman shouldn't, just going out there and screaming. I thought I could do this, too. Of course, Courtney Love today is different from the way she was back then. Her mind is not the same. Everything eventually gets spoiled," said Way. But you won't hear her crying over the way her idols have changed or how the music industry has changed either. For her, it's a new world, where bands have to find new ways to get their music out there, even if it means maybe giving it away for free.

You see, at one point they made "Sorry" available on their bandcamp page as one of those pay-what- you-want-type-deals, which usually end up in people taking something for nothing, but in this case, something much different took place. "I've never been afraid of giving the music away. You see we put the album up on our bandcamp page for a while and asked people to name their price. I thought people would not pay that much for it, if they paid at all, but we saw a very curious trend taking place. There were people willing to pay $15 - $20 for it, which is a lot higher than what we were originally offering it for. I was pleasantly surprised by this," said Way.

After this tour, which also see them opening for Pissed Jeans and Metz, the band has some summer festivals booked before they go into the studio to record the follow up to "Sorry", which they are hoping to have out next year. Regardless, they are an exciting band, coming into their prime, so there isn't any reason why you shouldn't be there for this show. Don't miss out.

Manic Productions Presents: Iceage White Lung Fins Blessed State Thursday April 18, 2013 Lilly's Pad (Toad's Place Upstairs)300 York Street, New Haven, CT 06511 $12 ($10 advance) - 7pm - All Ages

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