White Fangs ‘White Fangs’ – album review

White Fangs ‘White Fangs’ (Frantic City/ AzBin Records)
Available now

This is loud, screaming garage punk – rejoice in the noise!!

White Fangs hail from Brussels, a four piece who create some of the most energetic wildly primitive garage rock you are ever likely to hear; this self titled debut album was released at the tail end of 2012 though we held back on publishing the review save it get lost amongst the Christmas fodder.

The ten tracks were, recorded at Swampland Studio, Toulouse, during the bands two French tours (July 2011 and January 2012) and feature Angelo (Bass; ex-Warm Toy Machine) , Bart (Guitar/Vocals; ex-Skeptics, Wild Zeros, Mean Things, Pneumonias), Charles (Drums; ex-Marvin Gays) and Benjamin (Guitar; ex-Creteens, Yussuf Jerusalem) – quite how the producer/engineer Lo’Spider was able to capture this racket is beyond comprehension; the aural equivalent of a pack of rabid dogs, bug-eyed, heckles raised, razor tipped jaws snapping shut – a perfect mix of frantic garage rock, raw fist punching snotty punk rock, and with a generous helping of psych thrown in for good measure; it’s like The Sonics meets The Membranes and then the whole ensemble comes crashing down the studio stairs…

Ten seconds of fuzz drenched guitar heralds the arrival of ‘Drug War’ before the relentless riffing kicks in, distorted (English) lead with weirdly brooding backing vocals; the chorus has so many layers of distortion, it has elements of Hawkwind and at 3mins is the longest track on the entire album.
‘I Don’t Wanna Die Again’ continues in similar vein but with a roustabout rhythm real close to the Membranes ‘Tatty Seaside Town’…’Wrong Numbers’ has some off kilter organ and a short ‘Psycho’ style desperate rock rock’n’roll guitar riff – think Buzzcocks ‘Boredom’ and your halfway there; the clattering drums and the screeched “eins, zwei, drei, vier” and its ‘I’m A Bug’ – the levels are well into red with this one, multiple layers of distortion, a savage pace; no wonder they could only keep it going for just over a minute; its shockingly basic, and is possibly some of the rawest production ever committed to vinyl! ‘Sick & Sad’ is chock full raucous undertones played to maximum volume and lyrics shouted out in competition; ‘Midnight Jock’ comes careering at you like the Ramones on meth-amphet, everything cranked to the max…the pace is just unrelenting, a glorious tsunami of wigged out proto punk

Perhaps the greatest thing about the White Fangs debut album is just how ‘out there’ it is, there are no concessions for trends; there were no pre-record band meetings, certainly no over dubs or re-records – this is one take rock’n’roll pure and simple, a capture of some of the most deranged garage punk ever created; the Fangs are truly forging their own path – and yet in amidst this chaotic madness you will be surprised just how full of tunes it is.

A very, very late contender for a 2012 LTW Top 10 album of the year.

‘White Fangs’ features artwork by Guillaume Sport-Lukçe, and comes complete with silk-screened covers, printed, cut, folded and numbered by the artist’s own hands!! The vinyl is limited to just 300 copies; buy it now.

Track listing;

1. Drug War
2. I Don’t Wanna Die Again
3. Wrong Numbers
4. I’m A Bug
5. I’m So Glad
6. Sick & Sad
7. Dark Side Of My Mind
8. You Can’t Get It Better
9. Midnight Joke
10. Second Rate

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Phil Newall is from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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