Release Date: May 29, 2012
Record label: Deranged
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk Revival
Sorry isn't so much the follow-up to White Lung's 2010 full-length debut, It's the Evil, as it is a continuation; like the getaway car driver outside of a bank robbery, the Vancouver-based neo-punkers immediately kick into high gear and go screeching into the night. Armed with improved production values and somehow even more energy, the band shouts and shreds through its ten tracks in under 20 minutes with a visceral intensity that borders on collapse. Mish Way's commanding vocals and guitarist Kenneth McCorkell's knotty guitar work, melding into a riot grrrl/post-punk hybrid, lead the charge, while the measured, solid foundation of bassist Grady Mackintosh and drummer Anne-Marie Vassilou ensures things don't just go off the rails.
If you're familiar with the Vancouver four-piece White Lung, it's fair to assume you're a punk in the traditional sense. And that's because over the past six years White Lung have functioned in a distinctly underground and subversive mode. They've trekked Canada and the States on DIY tours through venues so small I inadvertently knocked into a mic stand when I saw them last month, in the stage-less, graffiti-strewn backroom of a dingy Brooklyn tavern.
White Lung set the Canadian punk scene on fire with their first album, a take-no-prisoners sneer called It’s the Evil. They’re back with Sorry, an unapologetic follow-up that sticks with what works. Mish Wray’s back hating herself first and you second, Anne-Marie Vassilou’s drums sound as unstoppable as ever. When firing on alll cylinders, like on “Glue”, White Lung perfectly splits the difference between what dance kids and hardcore kids need for their respective mosh pits: fuck-you levels of sarcasm, delivered hard and fast.
A little over halfway through Sorry, White Lung’s sophomore album, Misha Wray is feeling down on herself: “Too dumb to get a life,” she snaps on “I Rot”. “You’re the first one, I’m the last one, always going down.” Rough put downs to be sure, one that places her inside the long and proud history in punk music of hating yourself, then others. But with Sorry’s raucous feel, it becomes clear that whatever personal misgivings Wray has about herself, she and the rest of White Lung were smart enough to keep the intensity of their first album going.
White Lung punches, claws, and scraps. They’re out for blood. Sorry? Pssh, yeah right. This debut album hasn’t a single apologetic note. It’s 28-minutes of “fuck you”-punk, played at volatile speeds and with sickle-sharp ferocity. Frontwoman Mish Way is the poison on the tip of that ….
Bare your teeth and write songs like thunderstorms. Noisy Vancouver quartet White Lung fashion serrated hardcore out of rain-soaked squall. Sophomore album Sorry lasts an appetizing 19 minutes; anything more might melt the plastic. Mish Way, who clocks hours as a reputable writer herself, thrives on the ropes, yelling out the demons in "Bag," "Bunny," and "I Rot," while filthy guitars threaten to flay her in two.