With Deep Fantasy, Canadian punk trio White Lung make it clear that they’re willing to embrace their reputation as loud, succinct, and electrifying music makers. Led by Mish Way, a singer with a seemingly endless amount of charisma, the band’s latest is a marvelous display of unrelenting and unapologetic aggression — ten songs pumped out in less than 23 minutes with a style and sound that is guaranteed to capture listeners’ attention.
Deep Fantasy could easily be too much to take. It immediately kicks into high gear with opening track “Down with the Monster” and makes no attempt to slow down or change the tempo as it rolls on. But instead of weighing the record down, the band’s energy works in its favor, cajoling its listeners to hold on and enjoy the ride. Often bands that tend towards the loud-and-fast model seem to be compensating for a general lack of musical complexity, but this is certainly not the case for White Lung. In fact, with each new listen you will likely find yourself more aware of the nuanced songwriting and production that went into Deep Fantasy. But what’s likely to draw you in first is Way, who has the rare ability to sound completely in charge and completely vulnerable at the same time. Balancing him out is guitarist Kenneth William, whose frenzied yet controlled playing injects songs like “Sycophant” and “I Believe You” with a necessary dose of liveliness.
Deep Fantasy works because White Lung seems to have taken the time to discover its own weaknesses and strengths and grow accordingly. The end result is undoubtedly the band’s best album yet, and is sure to reward listeners for years to come.