Canadian punk rockers White Lung’s new release Down With You is over in a flash. Loose and rough, it is a strong demonstration of 21st century punk: an impressive array of quick guitar, heavy drums and powerful vocals all dripping in synths and First World cliche.
The intro is metallic, rapid and heavy on the bass, but after four or five seconds it gives way to a more punk rock sound – the stripped-down production, catchy chorus and minimal but fast drums – whilst still in keeping with heavy metal elements, most noticeably the crunching riffs and pounding, doubling drums during the verse.
This guitar frequently echoes Mish Way’s vocals, each as distorted as the other; the two complementing each other perfectly with their mixing and meddling melodies when Way chants “I wanna ride/Down with you”. She disclosed in an interview recently, that the song is about her turbulent relationship with her “favourite drug which [she] no longer [does]”. The chaos and anguish caused by this drug is clear in the strength of her vocals.
Down With You is the B-side to their new single Blow It South . Both songs have the same screeching guitar punctuate the verses and weighty drums resonate throughout, but Down With You is more urgent, more pressing, more phet – due to its rougher production and its subject matter. Their intensity erupting from the incredibly short, fast and furious songs – is something that defines much of White Lung’s work, with their previous 10-track LP “Sorry” lasting under 20 minutes.
This gritty song may not make for light listening, but it is both emotional and undeniable proof that although punk may have had the sheet pulled over its face, there’s still a twitch in the finger of this dormant clenched fist, and its trying to tune the dial to White Lung.