Showing posts with label white lung. Show all posts
Showing posts with label white lung. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

the top 50 best songs of 2016

I've gone on record that this list in particular is always the hardest to make. Refining a list of songs that I've covered on albums I've reviewed over the course of the year - which numbers in the thousands of songs - down to a select six hundred or so, then down to a subset of just under 200... and then the final fifty. Suffice to say, there's always a lot to cover.

But I have to say, this year felt easier than others. I'd say part of it is that I'm getting a better handle on my organization going into these lists, but that would assume I've got some inkling of what I'm doing here. I think the larger factor is that the truly amazing songs that monopolized my year - the top 35 or so - they fell into place remarkably quickly, and that made ironing out the details easier than I expected. Maybe it was because it was easier for me to get passionate about some of these tracks than before, because if you ventured away from the mainstream Hot 100, there was a lot of great music in 2016. Away from the charts there was great metal, rock, synthpop, hip-hop, and especially country, which had one of its best years in recent memory, and fair warning, there's going to be a lot of it on this list.

As always, the songs had to appear on any one of the albums I reviewed - singles or deep cuts, all are possible, so no more wasting time, we have a lot to get through! So let's start off crazy with...

Monday, May 23, 2016

video review: 'paradise' by white lung

About time I got to this one. Pretty damn solid album, definitely happy with it, and yeah, it really should be sparking more conversation than it is.

After this, I'm thinking Anohni and Vektor, but first we've got Billboard BREAKDOWN, so stay tuned!

album review: 'paradise' by white lung

So I don't review a lot of punk.

I mean, I will on occasion - if there's something really jumps out at me with sharp hooks or particularly nuanced lyrics, I'll get all over it - but I think it's fair to say that of the punk scene that's left, there's not a lot that really works for me. And it's not saying I dislike the genre or don't have my own personal favourites from both the 70s and 90s waves - I certainly do. But maybe it's just a factor of overexposure and looking for acts that are saying and doing something a little different - punk by definition went back to the basics, and when you have nearly forty years of the 'basics', you need to do something to stand out.

As such, I've been a little reticent to talk about White Lung, a Canadian punk act from Vancouver known for blisteringly fast hardcore riffing and frontwoman Mish Way's raw, explosively feminist lyrics. Up till now they've released three records that might generously have just over an hour of material, but they've managed to capture a lot of potent content that updates the riot grrl ethos for the modern era. And while I won't always say I loved their albums - I'm not the biggest hardcore fan - I've liked what I've heard in terms of their progression, towards a fuller sound and stronger hooks, and the lyrics have always been well-framed as well as explosively raw in a Perfect Pussy sort of way.

So I was definitely curious to check out their newest album Paradise, which wasn't just their longest album to date - nearly a half hour! - but also featured new production from Lars Stalfors, most well-known for his association with The Mars Volta, the Cold War Kids, and - sigh - Matt And Kim. At the very least this promised to be a prettier affair than previous records, but if that meant a shift towards more defined melodic hooks, that could be a really good thing, at least for me. So I picked up Paradise - what did I find?