Review Summary: Hell hath no fury like a failed artist/Or a successful communist
Fat White Family have gained a rather notorious reputation in the London punk scene, mainly due to their… strange antics. From throwing severed pig heads at a crowd and whipping out their cocks during live performances, to riding a donkey into a pub and having vocalist Lias Saoudi smearing his naked body with butter on stage, Fat White Family have made it abundantly clear that they have zero fucks to give. Putting aside such oddities, though, the music itself is controversial on its own, with some praising the harsh, dilapidated furor of the band, and others dismissing it as bland, lazy rubbish that’s been done a million times over. Songs for Our Mothers
proves to be a bit of a mixed bag, suffering mainly from a lack of energy and focus.
The album starts out promising enough, with opener “Whitest Boy on the Beach” actually being quite subtle and more atmospheric compared to Fat White Family’s previous work due to the softer guitarwork, distant vocals, and the bass being in the limelight. “Satisfied” is a far darker, less aurally pleasing track, with a chanted chorus, more muddled, uninviting guitar riffs, and unnatural-sounding, compressed drums taking the helm. The album as a whole feels much uglier and more lethargic than its predecessor, as instrumental sections will often continuously drone on to create an unsettling, almost revolting effect. As the album trucks on, however, this method of composition starts to become tedious. Longer tracks such as “Duce” and “We Must Learn to Rise” are especially a chore to get through, because the band will just drag out the song’s runtime as long as they can by letting these instrumental sections spiral on and on to the point where they lose all the power and punch they had initially.
Herein lies the fatal flaw of Songs for Our Mothers
: After the first third of the album, everything begins to just fizzle out and become incredibly boring due to the endless amount of repetition.“Hits Hits Hits” is marginally less snore-inducing, as the band actually tries to vary things up by using what sounds like an electronic drum set and muted guitars, and hell, “When Shipman Decides” even has a trombone. For the most part, though, Songs for Our Mothers
is just forty-six minutes of sluggish, uninteresting noise rock with a couple standout moments.