You know how sometimes bands have a sort of intangible ‘feel,’ to them; a certain ‘something’ about their whole being, the way they are presented and the general atmosphere they create – even for those who like me in this case haven’t seen that band play?
Good. So if I say that for me FAT WHITE FAMILY have the same sort of ‘feel’ to them as fellow Londoners Flowered Up did back in the early Nineties, then you’ll know what I mean. I don’t mean that there is any specific similarity on the music front (though there are little flashes) but …… ah well, I know what I mean! (It’s a compliment, by the way!)
The band have been around a year or so, tearing up the stages of their home city as they have built up a bit (a pretty damned big bit) of a cult following for their stage antics which apparently, planned or otherwise, involve various incidents of chaos, blood, nudity and general weirdness! It all adds to the FAT WHITES’ (as they are also known) notoriety of course. And ‘notoriety’ in turns leads to hype; and ‘hype’ in turns leads to big expectations.
And in this case, these ‘big expectations’ are most certainly fulfilled! This is one helluva debut album!
(I’m not too sure if my downloaded promo copy ended up in the correct track order, so don’t hang me if there are any discrepancies!)
Opener ‘Auto Neutron,’ is I suppose the closest musically to anything done by the afore-mentioned Flowered Up. Not that it’s so much ‘baggy,’ but it’s certainly got a trippy, psychedelic feel to it. The vocals are quietly sung and harmonised, but in an almost disinterested manner while the guitar provides a downbeat sharpness.
‘Raining In Your Mouth,’ is an amalgam of several sounds. The vocals are like a manic Johnny Cash morphing into more of a Johnny Thunders as the song progresses , while the backing has a Velvet Underground feel mixed with the Christmassy chimes of tubular bells.
‘Without Consent,’ features a thumping bassline running through the fast-flowing track that at points slightly echoes The Stone Roses with the shuffling drum rhythm and reverb on the vocals. ‘Special Ape,’ goes a little bluesy, in a FAT WHITE manner with a stomping beat and a bit of a background cacophony that lasts less than a minute and a half in total.
Next (in my order) is the current single (released on 18th March.) The video for the excellent ‘Cream Of The Young,‘ follows.
‘Wild American Prairie,’ has a kind of psycho-country ring to it. I can’t describe it any other way. It stomps and pounds its way through its three and a half minute duration with a twanging guitar riff and low-sounding gang vocals.
‘Borderline,’ continues with a sort of country theme. It’s more acoustic sounding and reminds me very much Canned Heat back in the Seventies – it has a sort of ‘jug band,’ basis to it.
‘Heaven On Earth,’ rips right into flow, the guitar riff raging incessantly with muffled sounding vocals being uttered like some mad, drunken jakey on a Saturday night. It’s all a bit of a distorted mess … but yet absolutely engrossing.
My favourite track is ‘Bomb Disneyland,’ so rather than try to describe it, I’ll share it here. Brilliant!
‘Garden Of The Numb,’ closes (my) album. It really just does as it says on the tin …. really bored and tired sounding vocals draped over a floor-tom beat and cabaret-blues-type picked guitar. (If Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh was to release a record, this’d be it!)
I love this album – and hopefully FAT WHITE FAMILY will be allowed out of London some time soon so that they can unleash their madness on the rest of UK. I for one will be waiting!
(Released on April 1st 2013 through Trashmouth Records)