Urgency, brevity, and melody have been at the root of punk's most affecting outbursts, and Vancouver outfit White Lung have ironed out every kink that may have shown on 2010's It's the Evil by incorporating such traits into their followup, Sorry. What once only pummeled now strikes with hypermelodic catharsis and unbelievable agility. Merging the rudiments of punk's early years with post-hardcore sophistication, White Lung leave a bruise that remains long after the album's 10-track, 19-minute assault.
In her recent Vice article, vocalist Mish Way expounded her criticism of journalists separating the music world by gender, and Sorry reinforces her conclusion that women in music (citing peers such as Grass Widow and Nu Sensae) have challenged femininity by realizing their aspirations without outwardly exhibiting their womanhood. Regardless of gender, White Lung have a kinetic energy that is unmatched by most.
Underpinning Way's demanding cry is the band's tight, interlocked musicianship. Opening single "Take the Mirror" is driven by an effervescent thump and radiant guitar harmonies, impelling the forceful bark. A heart-wrenching squall pervades the verses of "Bag" and precedes an altogether explosive and uplifting chorus. The bass and guitar exhibit a severe dichotomy throughout "Those Girls": a roaring thrum is buried underneath a wall of shrill and briskly strummed chords. From track to track, the instrumentals and lyrics alternate between positions in the foreground, remarkably outlined in "The Bad Way" in which a pained shout cuts through the din, "I can't stay when you're the bad way."
Way never specifies her target(s) on Sorry, but her songwriting doesn't call for explicitness. These are anthems, and that her subjects remain undefined could appropriate a listener's experiences. What shields White Lung from the pitfalls of ambiguity is their unbridled ferocity and adhesive singalongs. Sorry is a fleeting listen, to such an extent that it warrants frequent returns, but with persistence comes escalating admiration and awe of White Lung's spirit.
[White Lung Website]
[Stream/Buy Sorry from Deranged Records]