White Lung – Paradise
White Lung’s new album Paradise has been lurking on my Spotify playlist for weeks now, and every time I listen I’m sucked right back down the rabbit hole. Guitarist Kenneth William’s ultra-creative punk rock doodling steals the show, really, swinging schizophrenically from progressive slaps in the face to hair-tingling noodles and complex indie rhythms. But somehow, the hip Canadian punks’ fourth album washes over like a smooth wave of glossy pop punk cohesion.
Perhaps it’s the treatment on Mish Way’s lead vocals that keeps things so steady, dream-like and detached. She almost sounds too consistent, like an angrier Karen O, and I often found myself wishing for a more natural rawness to her voice that might have grabbed my attention sooner. She definitely has a lot to say, and her lyrics are smart, topical and thought-provoking. Vicious yet unwavering.
Still, Paradise is a powerful, uncompromising and intelligent trip that I find myself coming back to again and again. It’s provocative; edgy and raw, yet smooth, washy and sophisticated at the same time. Guitars at the forefront, pounding drums that never really step on any toes, the occasional distorted bass forray and dreamy female vocals that snarl wittily beneath it all.