Punk guitarists struggle to differentiate themselves; picking their battles, they employ the occasional hooky riff or ten second solo to cut through atonal anarchy. Kenneth William has no such worries. Without taking away from White Lung’s primitivism he routinely finds needling angles and decorous moments of virtuosity that cut against, but never undermine, the Canadian quartet’s lunging assault.
The key to Kenneth and White Lung’s success is their ability to situate the listener (and vocalist Mish Way) in the heart of a thrashing vortex. The tumult is tuneful, gruesome and strangely captivating; at times White Lung feel like shamans turning their angst and their ache into a pulverizing force of nature, in other moments they feel just as helpless as the listener, caught in the throws of something elemental.
Better still, Kenneth displays plenty of sharp pop craft. The Buffy The Vampire Slayer-ish “Down It Goes” is an absolute delight, utilising a bruising onslaught that toughens up, but never obscures, a dynamite hook. The end result is a guitarist who can deliver booming satisfaction, but also a wiry, slippery, death race of a track like “Just For You”.
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