Thursday, 4 April 2013

Fat White Family - Champagne Holocaust

Album review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


Holocaust of any kind is awful, but I guess if you had to choose one, then death by champagne would probably be the best of a bad bunch. Of course with an album title such as 'Champagne Holocaust' you can be reasonably assured that Fat White Family are neither hoping, or expecting to find themselves the stars of daytime radio playlists, and this is a fact that's mirrored by the unholy racket they make. Even before they released this debut album they'd picked up The Quietus' (it's a music blog that's not as good as this one) 'Cult Star Today' prize at the BBC 6 music awards, so inroads to the alternative music world have been made.

They've also been featured by us, which is surely a bigger accolade, right? OK, maybe not, but it's more proof that this ragtag bunch are worth a good coat of listening to. As you'd expect, 'Champagne Holocaust' is a lazy, badly produced, noisy, unmixed mess of lo-fi sounds. So that's us interested right away. It's fairly solid too, even if opener 'Auto Neutron' seems like an odd choice to kick things off, but I guess that's all part of the plan. It ends in plenty of distortion and screams, so don't play it to the kids just before bed. The poppy and bell-covered 'Raining In Your Mouth' is ramshackle bliss and exactly the music we'd been hoping to find amongst this set. It's followed by 'Who Shot Lee Oswald' which can handily be summed up with just one word: weird.

They give a nod to Suicide on 'Without Consent', but instead of discordant electronics they opt for messy guitars and a cacophony of vocals, it's another highlight. 'Special Ape' is a little throwaway but a fun mess with it. Ace single 'Cream Of The Young' still sounds great. Songs like 'Wild American Prairie' (and much of the album for that matter) make you forget they're from London, they fit in perfectly to the US lo-fi scene. 'Borderline' being another track that sounds like it arrived from across the pond. The Cramps would be proud of 'Heaven On Earth' and it's psychotic, psychobilly flavour. The jangly pop of 'Bomb Dinsneyland' belies its sinister lyrics and by the crude finale of 'Garden Of The Numb' it feels less like your ears have taken a pounding, but more like they've been reset so that things may never sound quite the same again.




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