Exclaim!'s Best of 2014: Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums, Part Two

6. White Lung
Deep Fantasy

White Lung's Deep Fantasy pummels the listener like any great punk rock record should, and yet it manages to eschew many of the tired punk tropes that weigh down lesser efforts operating within that framework. Building on the sound the band developed over their previous releases, White Lung's rock solid and whip-tight rhythm section allows both Kenneth Williams' guitar lines and Mish Way's vocals to explore influences further afield.

Opener "Drown With the Monster" wails and roars in a swirling whirlpool, drawing the listener down into the dark depths of the album, which continues to pummel apace for the next all-too-brief 20 minutes. Doom hangs heavy over the chorus of "Face Down," while the verses thrash about, clawing for air. Opening the B-Side, the discordant one-two punch of "Wrong Star" and "Just For You" provides no relief to a listener lost in anxious alienation. Finally, "In Your Home" takes a desperate, frantic dash down Fascination Street that leaves the listener wondering what the fuck just happened.

A band that have consistently challenged both themselves and their listeners, White Lung faced a lot of expectation and hype when crafting Deep Fantasy, a record that stands up to repeated, high volume listening. It's safe to say they made good on those expectations — not that they gave a shit what anyone else thought anyway. (Sheldon Birnie)