Deep Fantasy is pissed off, but it could still use a good angry howl every so often.
The record, the third from Vancouver’s White Lung, is their first on Domino Records and was recorded as a trio (though they still tour as a quartet). The band has seen its fair share of comparisons to Pretty Girls Make Graves and this release isn’t going to shake that. The winding guitars and vocals tones bear a similarity and, really, it’s those guitars that define Deep Fantasy, snaking back and forth throughout all ten songs. Unfortunately, it also tends to get a little samey with those tones used so frequently. Meanwhile, vocalist Mish Way sings alternating harsh words, singing the choruses while spitting out the verses in between. There’s some variety in her delivery but, again, it doesn’t mix things up all that much over the 22 minutes. The true variety between the songs comes from drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou, whos adrenaline is to be commended—this is a record that doesn’t decelerate for a second, except for a rare 2 second breath between some of the songs.
It stands out when White Lung takes a turn in direction. “I Believe You” has more bass and it nicely offsets the guitars that often dominate their sound while keeping that pissed off vibe and hitting a couple of throat curdling moments. In “Down It Goes,” there’s a haunting element to the vocals that recalls ‘80s goth punk. Those winding guitars definitely emphasize the spooky element when Way isn’t shouting overtop of them. “In Your Home” is a song where Way alters her delivery more into the singing realm and, again, it gives a little boost that pulls the attention toward the varying melodies instead of just following the guitars.
Ultimately, White Lung is a powerful band but one that gets a little repetitive on their studio work. Rather than take that next step with their third LP, Deep Fantasy brings more of the same. For a record only 22 minutes long, the songs shouldn’t blend together quite as much as they do. They pack a nice punch, starting with opener “Drown With the Monster,” but that enthusiasm starts to wane partway in. With White Lung a little more variety would go a long way.
6.9 / 10
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