Published Jan 11, 2011Anticipation and expectation often go hand in hand, and when White Lung released their long-awaited debut full-length this summer, it certainly didn't disappoint. In fact, It's the Evil took the No. 1 spot on Exclaim!'s list of top punk albums of 2010.
The young Vancouver quartet already had some familiarity with critics' attention -- the brutal lo-fi punk blitz of their first few seven-inch singles garnered palpable buzz. But if you haven't already had the chance to hear why, you can listen to It's the Evil all week on Exclaim.ca right here.
Mined from Vancouver's grit and its keen underground creative communities, White Lung deliver an electric mix of touchstones, such as riot grrrl, proto punk and hardcore, that feels both classic and fresh. It's the Evil is not only a snapshot of a vital scene, but is a solitary statement, awash in personal nerves and public fury; a raw and radical mess of essential listening.
White Lung's hometown friends Nü Sensae find a spot on the top ten as well, sitting confidently alongside punk veteran Ted Leo, whose Brutalist Bricks was a definitive step forward that picked up any underwhelming slack from his last release. Toronto's the Flatliners place in the top five this year with their excellent, road-weathered Cavalcade, while both Burning Love and Coliseum won us over with their potentially precarious transition records, confidently finding their footing on the punk/metal/rock'n'roll line.
This year's list favoured fresh over frayed, and perhaps the best proof of that is the inclusion of Connecticut's Hostage Calm. Their self-titled sophomore album -- a hybrid of melodic punk and soaring classic pop harmonies, all anchored by a taut post-hardcore technicality -- is a lesson in creativity and inspiration on one of the most unexpected and exciting albums in punk this year.
White Lung's It's the Evil will be streaming on Exclaim.ca until January 17.
To see Exclaim!'s entire Punk Year in Review 2010 list, head here. And to check out all our Year in Review coverage, head here.
Stay tuned for these future full-album streams on Exclaim.ca:
Caribou Swim January 18 to January 24