Fat White Family - Songs for Our Mothers - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Fat White Family - Songs for Our Mothers

by Kevin Orton Rating:7 Release Date:2016-01-22

Yea, it’s another shambolic, obnoxiously warped Fat White Family album. True, their albums are never coherent, are in a constant state of disarray and shamelessly puerile. That said, they’re never dull and always compelling to eavesdrop on. So what’s not to love?

The opening track, 'Whitest Boy on the Beach', sounds like a mix of PIL and Pulp. 'Satisfied' is Depeche Mode if they went techno alt-country. 'Love is the Crack' is a meandering and seedy attempt at a ballad.

The doomy 'Duce' brings The Stooges’ 'We Will Fall' to mind with a little S&M thrown in, ending in orgasmic, psyche atmospheric noodling. A glorious bit of noise that goes on for nearly seven pointless minutes. Lebensraum reminds me of those twisted, lo-fi Country numbers the Mekons used to do in the 80’s on albums like Honky Tonkin’. In fact, in its attitude and sonically speaking, Songs for Our Mothers reminds me of the Mekons' Fear & Whiskey and Edge of the World albums.  Raw and DIY. Having mentioned the Mekons, the other the influence I hear the most is early Fall. These guys are guaranteed to appeal to fans of Mark E. Smith.

The woozy Hits Hits Hits is without a doubt, the catchiest tune on the album. However, it’s hard what to make of Tinfoil Deathstar, a wild tone poem collage of weirdness that goes in one ear and out the other. When Shipman Decides on the other hand, is inspired weirdness Perverted Lounge Music on tranquilizers. One of the best tracks on the album. Had me cracking up. We Must Learn to Rise is the soundtrack to a hangover from hell. If only it didn’t overstay its welcome, clocking in at over 7 minutes. Frankly, I have no problem with long songs, but despite some beautifully gloomy guitar, in the end, it’s a bit of a slog. The sarcastic anthem, Goodbye, Geobbels ends the album with another Mekons style Country ballad. Barbituate laced and atmospherically lo-fi. One that goes out of its way to be offensive in a way only the Fat White Family can pull off.

Suffice it to say, Fat White Family are never pleasant to listen to. That's not the point. They’re the opposite of easy listening. Like Captain Beefheart, they’re out to deliberately ruffle your feathers. Their DIY brand of deranged satire isn’t for everyone. Most definitely not your Mother. Unless she’s really cool. On occasion, they’re a bit like a proctologist who enjoys his job too much. But they have a scruffy charm and a sense of humor to pull them out of any quagmires they lay for themselves.  Like previous Fat White Family offerings, Songs for Our Mothers is an utter mess. A glorious one. And fun too. 

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Great review, Kevin. I agree on all points. Rather fun stuff.

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