The Joup Friday Album: White Lung – White Lung

maxresdefaultI have a new director who, in three films, has planted himself in my favorites category. Richard Bates, Jr. Man! This guy’s films are fantastic – funny, uncomfortable, disturbing and sometimes horrific, Mr. Bates really knocks it out of the park with Suburban Gothic and Trash Fire, the two films I had seen previously (the former is on Prime, the latter Netflix). Then, a couple of nights ago I got around to the film of his I’d been saving since I discovered it on Shudder: Excision.

Unbelievable! So messed up, in a good way. There are thematic and stylistic threads that run through all three films, but Excision is the grittiest – though Trash Fire is fairly traumatic as well. The description on Shudder says something about, “if Cronenberg directed Welcome to the Dollhouse” and I’d say that’s pretty spot on. There’s definite Todd Solondz and John Waters influence in Mr. Bates’s films – hell, Waters is even in Suburban Gothic and Excision – but there’s also a creeping, Suburban/Family Ties (not the show) dread that permeates the tone of these films. I can’t recommend them enough.

Now, what the hell does this have to do with the Joup Friday Album? Simple – White Lung’s Wild Failure, the final track on their 2010 Eponymous debut – is featured at one point in Excision. It’s not a lot of the song, but it was enough to make a big impression. I grabbed the full album on Apple Music and have listened to it about twenty times in the last two days, repeating over and over in the morning at work. It reminds me a bit of old Black Flag, a bit of Dead Kennedys, and a bit of Crystal Castles on their second album, primarily on that last one because vocalist Mish Barber-Way comes off frantic and aggressive in an almost coquettish way. And guitarist Kenneth William is kind of my new hero. Why? Listen.

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Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

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