White Lung - Premonition Music Album Reviews

White Lung - Premonition Music Album Reviews
The Canadian punk band’s fifth and final album is a softer, more family-oriented affair, with reflections on motherhood and loss set to metallic riffs.

Remember when White Lung seemed poised to soundtrack the revolution? Between 2010 and 2016—years that neatly aligned with the liberal complacency of the Obama era—these Vancouver-formed punks unleashed four hard-charging, sub-half-hour dispatches of fury. On career-defining records like 2014’s Deep Fantasy and 2016’s Paradise, you could almost feel the spittle hitting the microphone as singer Mish Barber-Way snarled about body dysmorphia and rape culture while drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou and guitarist Kenneth William absorbed punk melodies into a gnashing, metallic maw. 

Then, during the Trump years, White Lung disappeared. Barber-Way took a high-profile job as executive editor of Penthouse, and the band’s reputation was tarnished after the frontwoman, a self-described “equity feminist,” began promoting prominent right-wing voices in the magazine and on social media. Meanwhile, the band started work on their next album. In 2018, Barber-Way was in the studio when she learned she was pregnant with her first child. The album was postponed, then postponed again, and—well, it’s almost 2023, and White Lung’s fifth and purportedly final album has arrived.

Everything has changed for White Lung in the last six years, but on a superficial level, once Premonition revs up, not too much has changed. The singer’s wail is still intact, though more restrained, on songs like “Date Night,” a high-octane standout about a nightmarish date with God, who turns out to be a thrill-seeking, chain-smoking nihilist. William still plays pummeling riffs, this time with a more pronounced thrash-metal influence; on “Hysteric,” he shreds up and down the fretboard hard enough to keep guitar-tutorial YouTubers in business. 

Such gestures belie the album’s softer, family-oriented hue. As in any thirtysomething’s Instagram feed, babies are an overarching theme. In interviews, Barber-Way, who now has two young children, has described how impending motherhood changed her approach to songwriting. “It was like this baby inside me was taking up everything I had,” she told author Melissa Broder. “I was consumed. I became fixated on that feeling, so the album is about the transition to motherhood, pregnancy, and the massive life change that I embarked on during the lull between our last album.”

When Scott Stapp learned he was to become a father, he welcomed his child with arms, and music video budgets, wide open. Like a pop-punk answer to the Creed staple, “Bird” addresses Barber-Way’s unborn baby and envisions the awe of finally meeting him: “I want to know you/We are forever/Where are you hiding?” she wails in one of White Lung’s most melodic and anthemic choruses. “Girl” is framed as advice to a future daughter, though neither the faceless melody nor rhymes like “I must confess/You’ll get depressed” match the poignancy of the subject. More affecting is “If You’re Gone,” a metal-tinged lament about suicide and the grieving children it leaves behind.

When a punk band that thrives on raw immediacy spends five years making an album, some skepticism is warranted. The songs sound tight and punchy, filling out their arrangements with glistening synths, but the careening intensity of White Lung’s earlier work is absent. Overdubs don’t help; on tracks like “Girl” and “One Day,” Barber-Way’s vocals are layered in multitrack harmonies that flatten the vigor of her voice. The album’s songs were tracked in a piecemeal fashion—“We’ve never played them all in a room together,” the frontwoman said recently—and it shows.

Back in 2014, Deep Fantasy captured the ferocity of an absurdly tight band playing together in a room, thrashing against the walls and playing off each other’s anger. That ferocity has faded. By contrast, Premonition sounds like talented professionals working remotely. Fitting, perhaps, for an album that’s largely about leaving the punk lifestyle behind and finding joy in family instead.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
White Lung - Premonition Music Album Reviews White Lung - Premonition Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 26, 2022 Rating: 5


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